Catalans Dragons half-back and captain Stacey Jones has stunned the club by announcing he will retire from all rugby at the end of the season.
Jones has been the Dragons' key player for the last two years
The 31-year-old New Zealander, one of the legends of the modern era, signed a new 12-month deal earlier this year but has now had a change of heart.
"I had a couple of bad injuries during the last two seasons and I think my body has had enough," he said.
"My performance was up and down. It's the best solution for the team."
No decision will be made short time since you can not replace Stacey Jones
Catalans Dragons coach Mick Potter on replacing captain Stacey Jones
Jones missed three months of the Dragons' inaugural season with a broken arm and also sat out the opening month of this season with a knee injury.
But since then he has played their last 26 matches, including their historic appearance in the Challenge Cup final at Wembley.
"I prefer to quit at the end of the season than retiring after two or three games into 2008 which will not be fair for the team, which will be even better next year," he said.
"It was a difficult decision to take and I will miss the place. I had two wonderful years with the Catalans Dragons and being at Wembley was a dream.
"I want to thank the club and all the fans who have been so good for me and my family. I have no concrete options for my future and I will take my time to take the right decision."
Until joining the Dragons for their Super League debut in 2006, Jones had played his entire club career in New Zealand with Auckland Warriors.
So far, he has made 43 appearances for the Dragons and scored 122 points.
Dragons coach Mick Potter paid tribute to the player, and the honesty he had shown in making his decision.
"He has always been a champion and did not want let down his level of performance," he said.
"It is probably the toughest decision he has made in his life but Stacey has been one of the greatest rugby league ambassadors all over the world.
"I wish him and his family all the best for his future and we will sadly miss him. There are potential candidates to replace him but no decision will be made short time since you can not replace Stacey Jones."
His penultimate appearance for the Dragons will be at Bradford on Sunday, and his farewell appearance will be at home to Harlequins on Saturday week.