Brisbane Broncos captain Justin Hodges has confirmed he will retire from the game at the conclusion of the 2015 NRL season.
Hodges, a veteran of 245 NRL matches, is contracted until the conclusion of the 2016 season but has opted to call it quits early. "I just want to thank my family and friends, all the coaches, staff and past team-mates at the Broncos, and all the fans for the support they have given me over my career," Hodges said today. "I just feel now is the right time to announce this so the team and I can concentrate on playing our best football for the Broncos for the rest of the season." Hodges started his career with the Broncos in 2000 as a 17-year-old before switching to the Sydney Roosters in 2002. He played the first of his 24 Origin matches for Queensland while playing for the Roosters, before returning to Brisbane ahead of the 2005 season. "I never thought it'd come this far, just a boy from Cairns with a big dream," he said. Hodges was a key figure in the Bronco's 2006 premiership side, establishing himself as one of the game's best centres for both club and state, while also debuting for the Kangaroos in 2006. The Broncos are currently top of the NRL ladder, offering Hodges the opportunity to go out a winner. The 33-year-old said he would like to remain involved with the Brisbane club mentoring younger players. "It's a club that I love and I'd do anything for," Hodges said. "It's given me everything I have in this life, everything I've achieved, the life I have now is all because of this club."