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Who would be the final NRL participant who debuted within the first decade of the 2000s to retire?


On Tuesday, Roosters warhorse Jared Waerea-Hargreaves introduced that 2024 shall be his closing season within the NRL, drawing an extended and storied profession to an in depth and starting a closing of the door on an entire period of the game.

Waerea-Hargreaves debuted for Manly again in 2009 and is considered one of only a handful of NRL gamers who debuted within the first decade of the 2000s nonetheless within the league.

Because the oldest participant within the NRL in 2024, this season was all the time seeking to be Waerea-Hargreaves’s swansong and it appears possible the race to be the final man standing from the 00s is between three gamers.

Canberra’s ageless surprise Jordan Rapana, who debuted in 2008 earlier than taking six years away from the game attributable to a Mormon mission, is the present participant with the longest profession span. 

The 34-year previous is off-contract at season’s finish and hasn’t made a name on his future but, however coach Ricky Stuart has said he expects him to retire.

A man tries to break a tackle during a rugby league match

Rapana is the final participant remaining who appeared within the 2008 season. (Getty Photos: Brendon Thorne )

That would depart us with Kieran Foran, who can be coming off contract, and Ben Hunt, who has yet one more yr on his take care of St George Illawarra.

The actual fact Foran is even in with an opportunity is outstanding given the accidents and off-field points he is struggled with over time.

He is coming off a nice season with Gold Coast and may he put collectively one other marketing campaign there is no motive he could not go round once more.

However Hunt should be the prohibitive favorite — he is performed a number of the greatest soccer of his profession in current seasons and continues to be an computerized choice for Queensland and Australia.

Taking part in past his present contract appears nicely inside Hunt’s capabilities, even when he’ll be turning 34 subsequent month.

With 312 video games to his credit score, there’s each probability he joins Terry Lamb, Darren Lockyer, Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith as the one gamers to seem in 350 matches or extra.

Ben Hunt warming up before a St George Illawarra NRL match in 2022.

Hunt appears set to be the ultimate participant from the primary decade of the 2000s to retire. (Getty Photos: Brendon Thorne)

There’s two absolute lengthy pictures who might up-end the entire thing, though neither are a assure to play within the NRL this season.

Michael Jennings, who debuted all the best way again in 2007, is at present on the Roosters on a train-and-trial deal after serving a four-year ban for efficiency enhancing medicine. He final performed within the NRL in 2019 and at age 35, his probabilities of enjoying first grade once more appear distant.

Former Wallaby Joseph Tomane made his return to rugby league with Queensland Cup aspect Souths Logan final yr after virtually a decade enjoying rugby union. He debuted with the Storm in 2008 and can play for Brisbane of their trial sport towards Manly this weekend.


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