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NRL career appears over for Ben Hannant

AAP logoAAP 16/11/2016 Laine Clark

Three weeks after re-signing with North Queensland, veteran prop Ben Hannant's NRL career appears over due to a chronic knee injury.

North Queensland could not confirm an initial report that Hannant had told Cowboys officials on Tuesday night he would succumb to the long-term knee problem and retire.

But Hannant's sister Jess Bemrose on Wednesday posted a tribute to her brother on social media.

"So proud of my brother. Watching footy won't be the same any more," she posted on Facebook.

The Cowboys said they were still waiting on a final medical assessment and had not yet spoken with the 31-year-old Hannant.

"We're not in a position to say anything," a Cowboys spokesman said.

Two-time premiership winner Hannant looked set to run out for a 13th season when he committed in late October for another year.

He featured in North Queensland's 2015 NRL premiership win and the Cowboys clearly saw him as a key to another title when they signed him again.

"Ben's contribution to this team over the past two seasons can never be undervalued," Cowboys football manager Peter Parr said last month when Hannant signed the 12-month deal.

"In his time here, he has shown himself to be a consistent performer, he's professional and his experience from more than a decade playing professional rugby league at the highest level is something he has willingly passed on to our emerging forwards."

North Queensland's forward depth already looked set to be tested in 2017 after Test prop James Tamou left for Penrith.

Hannant played 245 NRL games, 12 State of Origins for Queensland and six Tests for Australia.

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