Penrith Panthers prop Brent Kite has played his last game after announcing his immediate retirement following an injury-plagued season.
In the end it was a chronic shoulder injury that forced Kite – a former Australia international and stalwart of 313 NRL games – to hang up his boots, rather than any repercussions from a broken leg sustained earlier this year.
Kite debuted with St George-Illawarra Dragons in 2002 before going on to win an NRL Premiership with Manly Sea Eagles in 2008, along with claiming the Clive Churchill Medal.
He played his final two seasons with the Panthers and told the club's official website: "I've well and truly finished up.
"The injury has caught up on me, it's just sad to be going out this way I had a really good career and a good run until now.
"I broke the leg and I was still keen to go on but it was the shoulder in the end that was just too worn out to risk playing on and doing some pretty permanent damage to it so I decided to get the operation done [on the shoulder].
"I'm a bit sorry I suppose to the fans… that I could't finish in better style."