Warrington Wolves star Michael Monaghan has ended months of speculation about his future by announcing his retirement from the game at the end of the season.
The Australian Hooker, 34, has played 182 games for the Wolves since joining from the Manly Sea-Eagles in 2008. Monaghan played a key role in Warrington’s Challenge Cup winning sides of 2009, 2010 and 2012: picking up the Lance Todd trophy in the 2009 final for an inspired man of the match performance which helped the Wolves to their first Challenge Cup win in 35 years. He has also made Grand Final appearances in the past 2 seasons, but suffered disappointing losses in both.
Despite signing for Warrington as a half-back to partner Lee Briers in the halves, Monaghan quickly moved to the number 9 role, where his quick runs from dummy half, creativity and vision perfectly conformed to the quick, attractive football that Coach Tony Smith was attempting to create with his team. His ability to pick on slow markers at the play the ball, as well as the occasional 40-20 and drop goal saw him cement the position as his own.
Rumours of a return to Australia in 2010 were squashed when Michael’s brother Joel signed for Warrington the following season. Together, the pair have gone on the play an integral role in the Wolves’ recent successes. A testament to Michael’s experience and leadership skills on the field saw Coach Tony Smith award him with the joint-captaincy for this season, alongside Ben Westwood.
Monaghan’s departure will add fuel to the rumours that Castleford youngster Daryl Clark could make a switch to Warrington next season, although with fellow Hookers Micky Higham and Brad Dwyer contracted to 2015, the Wolves may not feel the need.
Monaghan is now looking to move into coaching in the English game, whether it be a role at Warrington or at another club. With the Wolves still in the Challenge Cup, as well as picking up momentum in a push for Super League success, Monaghan will be looking to end his career on a high.