RETIRED: Back-to-back knee injuries have forced veteran hooker Matt Ballin call an end to his NRL career.
RETIRED: Back-to-back knee injuries have forced veteran hooker Matt Ballin call an end to his NRL career. DAN HIMBRECHTS

Knee injuries bring end to Tigers career

VETERAN hooker Matt Ballin has announced his immediate retirement from the NRL.

The 33-year-old has been restricted to three games over the past two seasons for the Wests Tigers because of back-to-back knee injuries.

He played in two grand final victories with Manly in 2008 and 2011 and played one State of Origin for Queensland as well as 220 first grade matches.

"I never thought I'd play in the NRL, I never thought I'd accomplish that,” said Ballin.

"To do that at the Sea Eagles was one of the first steps in a long career that I've been very lucky to have. Just playing first-grade was a massive accomplishment for me and something I'd always wanted to do since I was a young kid.

"Being successful and making the friendships I did at Manly was great, but coming to Wests Tigers for the past two years has also been incredibly rewarding.

"I haven't played much footy, but I've met some great people and been able to help off the field, which I hadn't been able to do as much before.”


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