The NRL will pay tribute to 27 retiring or departing players during the build-up to tomorrow’s NRL Telstra Premiership 2019 Grand Final between Sydney Roosters and Canberra Raiders at ANZ Stadium.
Premiership winners, 300-Club members and Test and Origin stars are included in this year’s class of retiring players and those heading to Super League.
The list of those who will be honoured on Sunday includes Paul Gallen (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks), Greg Inglis (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Robbie Farah (Wests Tigers), John Sutton (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Tim Mannah (Parramatta Eels) and James Maloney (Penrith Panthers), with the latter leaving the Panthers to join the Catalans Dragons in 2020.
Sydney Roosters halfback Cooper Cronk, who will be playing in the Grand Final, will not be part of the official parade, but will be acknowledged as part of the ceremony.
Other players who will be part of the retiring players presentation are: Jeremy Latimore (St George Illawarra Dragons), Sam Tagataese (Brisbane Broncos), Michael Gordon (Gold Coast Titans), Shaun Fensom (Brisbane Broncos), Blake Ayshford (Warriors), Will Matthews (Gold Coast Titans), Robbie Rochow (Wests Tigers), Trent Hodkinson (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles), Nathan Ross (Newcastle Knights), Kaysa Pritchard (Parramatta Eels), Greg Eastwood (Bulldogs), Greg Bird (formerly of the Gold Coast Titans), George Burgess (South Sydney Rabbitohs, joining Wigan), Sosaia Feki (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, joining Castleford), Manu Vatuvei (Warriors) and Shaun Kenny-Dowall (Newcastle Knights, joining Hull KR).
“This is a wonderful list,” NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said.
“We have five 300-gamers, representative stars and Premiership winners from each of the past seven seasons, including Paul Gallen and John Sutton, who captained their respective teams to Grand Final wins.
“And obviously this year’s group also includes Cooper Cronk, who has the chance to retire following a third consecutive Grand Final win.
“It will be wonderful to acknowledge this group on Grand Final day and the parade will once again be one of the real highlights of the day.”