Vatuvei confirms rugby league retirement

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New Zealand Warriors great Manu Vatuvei has officially announced his retirement from rugby league, having not played since 2017.

The Warriors' all-time leading try scorer has been out of the sport since leaving Salford Red Devils in Super League in 2018 after rupturing his Achilles.

Vatuvei attempted to launch a boxing career but revealed last month a cyst in his brain had halted his efforts.

The 33-year-old has been working in a coaching role with Tonga and, although he suggested he still wanted a playing return, his retirement was confirmed on Instagram on Monday.

"Well as you already know I've been out of the game and [there has been] talk that I'm retired or going to retire," Vatuvei wrote.

"But I wasn't ready to accept that my time is up and can honestly say it's been the tough. Now I'm ready to accept and announce my retirement.

"I haven't got much to say right now but would just like to thank everyone that has supported me through my career.

"To all the fans, thank you for always supporting me and for all the kind messages over the years. I will always remember them and cherish it for the rest of my life.

"I know I've been one of those players that always has you on the edge of your seat whenever I played or a high ball comes my way.

"I liked to always try to put on a good performance for you every time I'm out there on the field."