Roosters veteran confirms retirement

Sydney Roosters co-captain Jake Friend has officially confirmed his retirement after a stellar 264-game career.

Friend retires aged 31 after suffering a concussion in Sydney’s season opener against the Sea Eagles.

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A heavy collision with Manly recruit Andrew Davey left him twitching on the ground.

It was his third concussion in six months and reportedly the 20th of his career.

Jake Friend has announced his retirement.Source:News Corp Australia

After reports emerged he had informed close friends of his decision, Friend confirmed his NRL career was over on Thursday afternoon.

“I wouldn’t be the man I am today without the Roosters and rugby league,” Friend said in a statement.

“I was 15 when I joined the Roosters and have loved every minute of the journey.

“There are so many people who have played an important role in my career, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them all.

“I can’t thank the Roosters staff enough, especially Cathy King, Craig Fitzgibbon, Travis Touma, my teammates Mitch Aubusson, my roomie Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and my manager Steve Gillis who have been on this journey with me since day one.

“I would also like to take the opportunity to thank all the sponsors, members and supporters of this great club.

“I’m proud to be able to say that I was recruited to the Roosters by Arthur Beetson and I’ll always be grateful for the day I met him. I wouldn’t be here without him.

“To our Chairman Nick Politis and our Board of Directors, thank you for all your support. Nick, to you especially. The Roosters are so lucky to have had you leading the way for over 40 years now, and I thank you and the board for taking the chance on me all those years ago.

“I also want to make a special mention of Trent Robinson. Trent is the best coach I’ve ever had, and I’m a better player and man for the last 11 years I’ve known him. To our coaching and support staff, thank you for setting the bar every day.

“I’ve played with some pretty special people here at the Roosters over the years, many I’m proud to call my closest friends, and I’d like to thank them. To my current teammates, it’s been an honour to play alongside you and to be your captain.

“Most importantly, I would like to thank my family; my mum, dad, brothers Zach and Sam, for all their support.

“To the two most important people in the world to me, my partner Jenna and our little boy Peter, I love you and I can’t wait to spend some more time with you.”

Jake Friend looks to pass.Source:News Corp Australia

Roosters coach Trent Robinson said: “For any player that stood alongside Jake Friend in his 264 games, I have no doubt that every single one of them would thank him for being a true teammate.

“Jake has been an incredible player and leader for the Roosters, and while I know that he won’t be comfortable with the accolades, it’s important we acknowledge his achievements over the years.

“Jake’s place in Roosters’ history is assured. He is a man of integrity, and his leadership has been a key driver of the Club’s success. He has made those around him better and I’ve loved coaching him.”

Friend played 14 seasons for the Roosters, representing Queensland for the first time in 2020 as the Maroons pulled off an unlikely 2-1 series victory.

He won three NRL premierships with Sydney and played one Test for Australia in 2016.

Friend was also a two-time recipient of the Jack Gibson Medal, awarded to the Roosters’ Player of the Year.

Love Jake Friend @sydneyroosters looking forward to the next chapter @Gotcha_4_Life#leader

— with Andrew McMurtry

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