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Halatau announces NRL retirement

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 17/07/2016
Dean Halatau. © Jason McCawley/Getty Images Dean Halatau.

Wests Tigers veteran and former Kiwi Dene Halatau will hang up his boots at the end of the 2016 NRL season.

The 33-year-old utility made his first-grade debut in 2003 and has played 241 games for the Tigers and Canterbury.

"I felt as though the time is right and it's something that I've been thinking about for a long time now," he said on Monday.

Invercargill-born Halatau played 15 Tests for New Zealand between 2004 and 2009, and was a member of the Kiwis' victorious campaign in the 2008 World Cup.

He won a premiership with the Wests Tigers in 2005, before shifting to Canterbury in 2010 for a four-year stint.

He returned to the Tigers on a two-year deal in 2014, and his contract was eventually renewed for another season heading into this year.

"I still feel as though I'm playing good enough football to contribute well for the team," he said.

"I've had a few little injuries over the past season that have just been quite frustrating more than anything. While I'm still feeling okay I think it's the right time to hang the boots up."

Previously a back-rower, Halatau has become coach Jason Taylor's answer to the No.9 conundrum this season with hooker Matt Ballin injured and his preference to play Robbie Farah from the bench.

"He has great advice and sets a great example for every player at Wests Tigers, not just the young ones but the older guys also look to him for leadership and he will be sorely missed at the club," Taylor said.

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