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Page last updated at 08:24 GMT, Monday, 28 March 2011 09:24 UK

Australia's Darren Lockyer to retire at end of season

Darren Lockyer
No player has captained his country more times (33) than Lockyer

Australia and Brisbane Broncos captain Darren Lockyer has announced he will retire from playing at the end of the season.

Lockyer, who turned 34 last week, has played 336 NRL games, 33 State of Origin games and a record 54 Test matches for Australia over 17 seasons.

He has also played in four NRL Grand Final-winning sides with the Broncos.

"I'm still enjoying playing and excited about the Broncos for the rest of 2011," said Lockyer.

"It will be hard to leave my team-mates at the Broncos but I know the timing is right.

"I've had a wonderful career as a rugby league player and I just feel it's time to move on to the next chapter."

Lockyer says he will be available for all representative games in 2011 including the Four Nations tournament in England and Wales in October and November.

Since making his debut in 1995 he has become one of the leading figures in the game.

I think it is fair to say that we will never have another player like Darren Lockyer

Broncos chief executive Paul White

In 2006, he led Queensland to State of Origin series victory, the Broncos to NRL success and Australia to victory in the Four Nations.

Last year he became Australia's leading all-time try scorer with when he scored a record 34th try in last year's Four Nations against Papua New Guinea.

Broncos chief executive Paul White said Lockyer's retirement was an historic occasion for the club.

"We appreciate the integrity that Darren has shown and the way he has decided to make this announcement now, which will allow our fans to celebrate his achievement for the rest of the season," White said.

"I think it is fair to say that we will never have another player like Darren Lockyer.

"He has driven success here at the Broncos, has been a tremendous achiever at both club and representative level, and has been the epitome of professionalism for not only our club, but our game.''

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see also
Australia 12-16 New Zealand
13 Nov 10 |  Rugby League
Lockyer breaks Aussie try record
24 Oct 10 |  Rugby League
Lockyer reveals England interest
17 Jan 09 |  Rugby League

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