Former Rooster Morley to retire

Former Sydney Roosters enforcer Adrian Morley has announced he’ll retire from rugby league at the end of the 2015 Super League season.

The 38-year-old prop, who is the most capped England and Great Britain player of all time, will make what could be his final home appearance for Salford against Sheffield Eagles on Sunday and hang up his boots at the end of the month.

Morley enjoyed a six-year spell with the Roosters between 2001-06 and was a member of the side that won the 2002 grand final in addition to playing in the 2003 and 2004 deciders against Penrith and Canterbury.

The hard-hitting front-rower was a huge favourite with the Roosters fans and was infamously sent off after 12 seconds for a high tackle that poleaxed Kangaroos forward Robbie Kearns in a 2003 Test match in Wigan.

His final appearance for the Tricolours also ended in controversy when he was sent from the field after racing out of the defensive line to knee Bulldogs hooker Corey Hughes at Allianz Stadium.

Morley’s decision to retire brings down the curtain on a 20-year career and the former Leeds, Bradford and Warrington star will remain in the game as an ambassador for Salford.

“I’ve been fortunate to have a long career but it’s time to call it a day,” Morley said.

“I’ve been a bit torn and I will miss it but you’ve got finish at some point.

“The defining moment came the other week when we played Bradford. I hurt my neck and made my decision then.”

Morley, who will run out to a guard of honour by his team-mates on Sunday, is currently the only active player from the pre-Super League era, having begun his professional career with Leeds in 1995.

After returning from the Roosters he led Warrington to Challenge Cup final glory at Wembley three times in four years and captained them to a maiden Grand Final at Old Trafford in 2013 before completing a move to his home-town club.

Morley led the Red Devils in 2014 and, although he handed over the captaincy to Harrison Hansen this year, he has maintained a regular place in the team, having missed only six matches in his two seasons at the AJ Bell Stadium.

Salford director of rugby and current Test coach Tim Sheens said: “Adrian is a tremendous character on and off the field.

“I knew him from Sydney and what sort of competitor he was when we played them. It’s been a pleasure to be involved with him here at Salford and hopefully we can help him in the next stage of his life.”

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