Ben Creagh calls time

St George Illawarra Dragons club captain Ben Creagh has announced his decision to retire at the end of the 2016 season.

Creagh sustained a complex knee injury in Round three against the South Sydney at the Sydney Cricket Ground, which has limited him to only three first-grade fixtures so far this season.

Creagh will retire as the second most-capped first-grade player in the club’s history with 270 games, behind only previous captain Ben Hornby.

“I have loved my time playing rugby league for the Dragons but unfortunately my hand has been forced with the knee injury getting worse over the course of this season,” he said.

“It has been hard decision to make with my heart willing me on to continue playing first-grade for this great club but deep down I know this is the right decision to make.

“I have been so lucky being a local junior to have represented the Dragons and will retire at the end of the season with a lot of fond memories.”

Creagh made his first-grade debut for the Dragons towards the end of the 2003 season against the New Zealand Warriors at UOW Jubilee Oval, Kogarah.

The record four-time Dragons ‘Player of the Year’ (2007, 2009, 2010, 2014) has won several honours over his 14-season career including a Premiership (2010) and World Club Challenge (2011) with the Club.

Furthermore, Creagh has been capped twice for Australia as well as representing NSW on 11 occasions (2009-12) and NSW Country Origin team seven times (2005-10, 2012).

“I have been so fortunate to accomplish so much with the pinnacle being the 2010 Premiership win which was done with a terrific group of players and a lot of hard work and determination,” the 31-year old said.

“I have also had the opportunity to represent both my country and state which is a dream for every young player as well as being entrusted to captain the Dragons these past four seasons which I have done so with great pride and honour.”

Dragons CEO Peter Doust has praised the one-club player on his service to the Dragons both on and off the field, during a standout career.

“Ben has had a long and proud career here at the Dragons and is well regarded by everyone who knows him,” Doust said.

“Playing 14 seasons in the NRL is a respected accomplishment and to be able to do that for the same-club makes the achievement even more commendable.

“Ben has been a leader here at our Club and a valued contributor towards the overall game of rugby league through his capacity in co-founding the Graduates of League program.

“On behalf of everyone at the Dragons I thank Ben for his services and wish both he and his family the very best for their future.”

Dragons Head Coach Paul McGregor was similar in his sentiments towards Creagh.

“Ben has been a significant part of our football club for over a decade and a leader amongst the playing group,” McGregor said.

“He has led by example both on the field and off it so it is a shame that he has been forced to retire but his decision personifies his character in always wanting to put the Club first.

“The entire playing squad wish him all the very best and we thank him for his invaluable contribution to the Dragons.”

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