Timeline: The 16 season NRL journey of Chris Heighington

Chris Heighington was born on January 14, 1982.

A Umina Bunnies junior, Heighington secured a train and trial contract under Tim Sheens at the Wests Tigers in 2002.

The backrower made his NRL debut for Wests Tigers against St George Illawarra in Round 1 of the 2003 season.

He made seven appearances from the bench that year.

In 2004 he played 10 games before cementing himself as a regular first grader the following year.


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It was in 2005 that Heighington not only played 24 games but won his first NRL premiership.

In 2006 he played in the World Club Challenge in a losing effort to Bradford.

He made 21 NRL appearances that season.

The following year he played 24 games and made 52 tackle breaks.

Heighington won the Wests Tigers' Player of the Year award in 2008.

It was one of his best seasons.


He averaged 131.25 running metres, made 799 tackles and made a massive 89 tackle breaks.

That season he made the Country Origin side as well as the Prime Minister's XIII.

In 2009 he represented the Prime Minister's XIII once again.

In 2010 he made 99 tackle breaks and 850 tackles. Let that sink in.

In 2011 he was named in the 'Blues in waiting Origin squad' and represented Country for the second and final time in his career.

At the end of the year he would pledge his allegiance to England and make his Test debut.

He featured in the Four Nations tournament where he played the opening game against Wales.

In 2012 he played 20 games for the joint venture before he was released to Cronulla.

The release was controversial.

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A change of direction from the club and salary cap constraints saw the forward pushed out.

He played for the NRL All Stars in the 2013 pre-season.

In Round 1 of the 2013 season he debuted for the Sharks. He played 26 games and made 715 tackles with just 16 missed tackles for the entire season.

In 2014 he averaged 111.89 metres in 19 games.

The following year he averaged 111.11 metres.

It was 2016 when Heighington and his Sharks teammates delivered the club their maiden NRL premiership.

He featured in 26 games and secured his second title.

The following year was his last in the shire.

It was also the season he played his 300th first grade game. On April 1 he became the 26th player to reach 300 NRL games.


Heighington played 22 games for the Sharks in 2017 and in the World Cup for England before moving to Newcastle one a one-year-deal.

He finished his representative career with seven Tests to his name.

In the opening round of the 2018 season, Heighington made his debut in the 19-18 golden point win over Manly.

In Round 4 he scores a try against St George Illawarra. It was his first try in almost three years.

This week he announced he will retire at the end of the season.

He's sitting on 334 games ... and counting.