Penrith captain Peter Wallace has shocked the rugby league world by announcing his immediate retirement from the NRL.
It’s understood the 32-year-old informed team mates over the weekend of his difficult decision.
Wallace has been battling injury this season and last played for the Panthers in their round 10 win over Newcastle.
“It’s an incredibly selfless act from Peter,” said Panthers General Manager Phil Gould.
“He always had great faith in the young players coming through our system here at Panthers and has played a huge part in their development as both footballers and people.
“Peter has been battling with injury for several years and has repeatedly played for the club with injuries that would keep the normal man home in bed.”
It is understood Wallace and Panthers coach Anthony Griffin first discussed the prospect of an early retirement several weeks ago.
It has been revealed this morning that Wallace has played the last two seasons with no ACL in his knee after his last knee reconstruction failed.
“Management and coaches knew of his condition, but he didn’t want anyone else to know,” Gould said.
“I can also remember him staying on the field for 50 minutes in a game where he had completely torn his ACL. He is a tremendously tough individual and his leadership has been wonderful for our club.”
Wallace will take up a position in the Penrith coaching staff.
Born in Melbourne, Wallace is a Panthers junior who made his NRL debut with the club in 2005.
He played the bulk of his career in Brisbane after switching to the Broncos in 2008, but returned home in 2014 to play out his remaining years with the Panthers.
Troy Dodds is the Weekender’s Managing Editor.