The Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles have re-signed hooker Matt Ballin, keeping him at the club until the end of the 2017 season.
The 31-year old made his club debut in 2007 and was involved in the 2008 and 2011 premiership wins over the Melbourne Storm and New Zealand Warriors respectively.
In 2010 an injury to QLD Maroons hooker Cameron Smith handed Ballin his State of origin debut for game one at ANZ Stadium, which the Maroons won 28-24.
Ballin currently holds the record for the most number of consecutive games for the club with 182.
“For the past nine and a half years I have proudly represented the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles, and my family and I couldn’t be happier with the opportunity to remain a one club player,” Ballin said.
“My family and I would like to thank the Penn family, Geoff Toovey and staff for their loyalty, as well as past and present players that I have played with. I play the game because of the friendships and bonds that are formed within a rugby league team” Ballin told seaeagles.com.au.
“I’d like to thank the sponsors, members and fans who tirelessly support us week in and out, through good and bad. Without your passionate support, the club would not exist.”
“Finally, I would like to thank my wife Shannan and children, Fletcher, Murphy and Mackenzie for their unwavering love. I know my career would not have been possible without your motivation, advice and sacrifice.”
Sea Eagles CEO Joe Kelly told the clubs’ website that Ballin was just the type of player the club wants around.
“He is a truly valued clubman and ambassador. We are thrilled to see him extend, knowing that he will finish his NRL career at the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles.”
“Matt shows incredible leadership and commitment on and off the field and I’m pleased to see that continue into the future.”
Sea Eagles coach Geoff Toovey was full of praise for the one club player who he has worked with for nearly a decade.
“Matt is one of the toughest players to ever wear the jersey,” Toovey said.
“He puts in every single week, leaving nothing on the field and I couldn’t be happier that he has re-committed to the Club.”