Warrington’s former England forward Ben Westwood will retire from the game at the end of the season.
The 38-year-old second rower is in his 18th season with the Wolves after making his debut in June 2002 following his move from Wakefield but has made only five appearances so far this year.
Westwood began the season as the oldest player in Super League but lost that tag when Hull forward Gareth Ellis, two months his senior, made his comeback in February.
The Normanton Knights amateur club product has made 441 appearances, including five Challenge Cup finals and three Grand Finals, scoring 128 tries, for the Wolves. He played the 500th game of his career 12 months ago.
The former England international is one of just three players – Ellis and Jamie Jones-Buchanan (Leeds) are the others – to have played in Super League during the last millennium. Westwood, who won 27 caps for England and played in the 2008 and 2013 World Cups, said: “It’s been a difficult decision but one that had to be made.
“I think the time is right. I’ve achieved what I wanted to in the game and 21 years is a long time to play a contact sport like we do. I’ve loved every single minute of it and have achieved some amazing things with some amazing people.
“There’s still time to achieve some more this year too but, sadly at the end of this one, that will be it for me.”
He added: “I am looking forward to relaxing and becoming a fan though and watching from the stands. It’s sad that this time has to come but it was always going to and, at 38 years old, I haven’t done badly.
“I am going to be working with the backroom staff and in the office, and coaching the women’s team too, so I will still be around.”