Former Catalans Dragons ace calls time on career: ‘Rugby league, it’s been an absolute pleasure’

Drew Darbyshire
Brayden Wiliame Catalans Dragons Alamy

Brayden Wiliame in action for Catalans Dragons - Alamy

Former Catalans Dragons centre Brayden Wiliame has announced his retirement from rugby league.

The Fiji international had another season to run on his two-year contract with New Zealand Warriors but has now made the decision to hang up his boots.

Wiliame made almost 150 career appearances for Parramatta Eels, Manly Sea Eagles, Catalans Dragons, St George Illawarra Dragons and New Zealand Warriors.

The 30-year-old spent three seasons in Super League with Catalans Dragons, helping the French club winning the Challenge Cup at Wembley in 2018.

Wiliame won nine caps for Fiji on the international stage, representing his heritage at the 2017 World Cup and the World Cup 9s in 2019.

Warriors head coach Andrew Webster paid tribute to Wiliame, saying: “Brayden is a really special person who has brought so much to the club in the short time he has been with us.

“He was set to be a really important part of our season only to be hampered by injuries but he still had a huge impact off the field with his professionalism and his mentoring skills.

“We all feel for him making this decision and I look forward to what’s ahead for him.”

Brayden Wiliame: It’s been an absolute pleasure

Wiliame thanked the sport via his Instagram account, saying he was grateful for every moment in his rugby league journey.

He posted: “Rugby league, it’s been an absolute pleasure!

“From a happy-go-lucky kid moving to Melbourne at 16 to now, a happy-go-lucky man, husband and father calling time on my footy career 14 years later.

“This journey has been anything but smooth, but I’m grateful for every moment because it’s lead me to exactly where I’m meant to be.

“Thank you to all the great clubs I’ve had the pleasure of playing for (not got enough room to write you all), thank you for all the friendships, the coaches and all the awesome experiences.

“I need to make particular mention to the New Zealand Warriors for their support since I arrived here both on and off the field. I came with every intention to play in the NRL again and though it was short lived I’m proud as to be Warrior #273.

“My family and I have stories to last a lifetime because of this sport and will be forever grateful.

“One doors closing and another one is opening. Excited as for what’s next.

“Thank you, vinaka and merci beaucoup.”

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