Luke O’Donnell Announces Retirement

It’s the end of the road for Luke O’Donnell after 215 club appearances in both NRL and Super League.

The thirty-three year old made the announcement on Thursday.

“I’ve had some time to reflect and think about my future since the grand final, and this definitely hasn’t been an easy decision but it’s the right one”, said O’Donnell.

“I’m so grateful for everything rugby league has given me. Each of the clubs I’ve played at have made me a better man and I’ve made so many friends along the way.

“I’ve had a great career. I count myself incredibly lucky to have represented my state and my country and it was a dream come true to return to the NRL with a proud club like the Roosters, and to cap the year off with a premiership.”

Starting out with the Balmain and part of the joint venture under West Tigers, O’Donnell played the majority of his fourteen year career with the North Queensland Cowboys.  Without a club at the end of 2010, he headed to Super League appearing twenty-seven times for Huddersfield Giants.  O’Donnell represented New South Wales five times and Australia on eleven occasions.

O’Donnell ended his career with the Sydney Roosters and was in the seventeen man squad that beat Manly Sea-Eagles 26-18 on October 6 2013.

Luke O’Donnell will be best known for his punishing defence which on the odd occasion got him into trouble with the judiciary.  That includes an eleven week suspension back in 2003 for a tackle that broke Canberra Raiders Michael Monaghan’s jaw; 2008 seven weeks for two striking charges on top of abusing a linesman; and three weeks following a head-butt to Dave Taylor and dangerous tackle on Darius Boyd during the second State of Origin game in 2010.

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