Newcastle Knights forward David Fa’alogo announced his NRL retirement on Saturday, informing teammates of the news following the captain’s run at Hunter Stadium.
Fa’alogo made his NRL debut in 2003 playing for the South Sydney Rabbitohs, made his international debut for New Zealand in 2006 before proudly captaining Samoa in this year’s Four Nations tournament.
In total, he played 142 games with the Rabbitohs before playing spending three years in the Super League. He returned to the NRL in 2013, joining the Knights and playing a further 56 games.
After 198 NRL games, as well as 12 matches for the Kiwis and eight for Samoa, Fa’alogo retires immediately due to a neck injury.
“Retirement has come earlier than expected,” the 34-year-old admitted.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my 12 and-a-half-year footy career, the highs and lows.
“I have met a lot of good people, worked with great coaches and made many long lasting friendships.
“I have been very fortunate as rugby league has given me so much!
“I would like to thank the clubs I have played for and Gavin and Chris Orr at Pacific Sports Management.
"Also my family and friends for their continued love and support, especially my wife Mel and son Bailey, and finally the Newcastle Knights for allowing me the opportunity to finish my career here.”
Interim coach Danny Buderus praised Fa'alogo for his contribution to the team and game.
"I have never met a more humble, respectful, team-first player like Dave," Buderus said.
"He has achieved so much in a fantastic career and off the field he has been a person that everyone has admired."
After informing his teammates, Fa'alogo proudly presented the jerseys to this week's team that will take on the Sydney Roosters at Hunter Stadium on Sunday afternoon.