North Queensland's Ben Hannant has been forced to retire after off-season knee surgery.
North Queensland's Ben Hannant has been forced to retire after off-season knee surgery. JULIAN SMITH

Injury forces Hannant into retirement

THE career of North Queensland prop Ben Hannant has come to an abrupt end.

The 31-year-old confirmed his premature retirement from the NRL, after a career that included 245 first-grade games, 12 Origin appearances for Queensland and six Tests for Australia.

The decision came after Hannant underwent off-season knee surgery.

Hannant played for the Roosters, Broncos, Bulldogs and Cowboys throughout 12 seasons.

He had only just signed a one-year extension to remain in Townsville but took to Instagram on Wednesday to announce that he could no longer keep playing following meetings with club doctors.

"I have been so blessed to play alongside so many great players, coaches, staff, family and fans. Unfortunately it can't last forever,” Hannant said.

"I have had amazing opportunities to play at four outstanding clubs and be a part of there (sic) culture.

"To all the players, coaches and staff I'm grateful for your friendship and the great memories.

"And a massive thank you to the members and fans. Without you this could not be possible.”

Hannant, who won premierships with Brisbane and North Queensland, paid special tribute to his wife Emma and family.

"I want to start by thanking my beautiful wife Emma and my six kids for there (sic) patience, love and support,” Hannant said.

"I want to thank my parents for encouraging me to pursue my dreams.

"I'm nervous and excited in what the future holds for my family and I.”

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