Knights veteran Smith to retire from NRL

Knights veteran Smith to retire from NRL

Premiership-winning forward Jeremy Smith is to retire at the end of the NRL season.

The 36-year-old Newcastle lock announced his decision on Friday, to end a 12-year career spanning 201 games for Melbourne, Cronulla, St George Illawarra and Newcastle.

He won a premiership with the Dragons in 2010, while another title with Melbourne in 2007 was stripped due to the club’s salary cap scandal.

Smith also played 22 Tests for New Zealand.

“It is important for me to get this out of the way to start putting the pieces in place for life after football,” Smith said.

“It also means I can focus on my final year of football and leaving this club in the best possible shape that I can.”

Having celebrated his 36th birthday last month, the Knights co-captain is currently the oldest player in the NRL.

“It has been an amazing ride, and while I will have a bit more time to look back when it is all done, I am proud to have achieved what I have in my career,” Smith said.

“There are a lot of players who have played more games than I have and haven’t had the chance to play in grand finals let alone win one.”

Coach Nathan Brown, who is in his first season in charge of the Knights, described Smith as the ultimate clubman.

“It would be hard to find a better man playing our game,” Brown said.

“I have only coached Jeremy for a short time but it is easy to see why he has been around so many successful teams.”

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