St Helens half-back Lance Hohaia has announced his retirement from rugby league with immediate effect.

The 32 year-old, who won the 2008 World Cup with New Zealand, joined Saints in 2012 from NRL side New Zealand Warriors.

Hohaia helped Saints reach last year’s Super League Grand Final, but he only played for two minutes at the Old Trafford show piece after being punched twice by Wigan’s Ben Flower.

The Kiwi had been linked with a return to the NRL at the end of the season, but instead today announced he would retire from the game with immediate effect.

“St Helens announce that Lance Hohaia has informed us of his retirement from rugby league and will therefore not play for the club again,” St Helens said in a statement on their official website.

“Lance has been a valued and integral member of the squad for the last three-and-a-half years and we thank him for his service.

“We wish him and his family well in their life after rugby league with St Helens.”

Hohaia won 28 caps for New Zealand and made 185 appearances for the Warriors. He played 78 times for Saints and featured twice against England for the Exiles.

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