Boyd Cordner is expected to become the third high-profile Sydney Roosters player to retire in 2021, forced out of the NRL because of repeated concussions.
The Roosters, NSW and Australia Test captain is reportedly set to confirm his retirement at a press conference on Monday morning.
The 29-year-old hasn’t played since sustaining a head knock during the opening game of the 2020 State of Origin series.
Cordner returned to the field in that game but took no further part in the series, won by Queensland.
He stepped away from the game to consider his future but the Roosters had been upbeat about a Round 14 NRL return for their inspirational skipper.
That comeback date passed in the Roosters’ heart-stopping 35-34 win over the Gold Coast on Saturday with speculation that Cordner’s comeback had been put on hold.
Cordner joins former club co-captain Jake Friend in retirement in 2021 because of concussion issues.
The Roosters have also farewelled Brett Morris this season after a career-ending knee injury.
Cordner’s call will mark a cruel end to a decorated career.
One of the most reliable players in the game, Cordner figured in premierships with the Roosters in 2013, 2018 and 2019.
He also led NSW to Origin series victories in 2018 and 2019 and took over as Kangaroos Test captain in 2018.
Cordner still had two years to run on his Roosters contract but will instead end with 181 games for the foundation club, 20 matches for the Kangaroos and 16 Origins for NSW.
It also comes as another brutal blow to the injury-hit Roosters who are also without representative stars Luke Keary and Lindsay Collins with long-term injuries.
Cordner’s medical retirement has been cleared by the NRL, according to media reports.
His decision to walk away from the game on health grounds comes as the NRL launches a crackdown on head-high tackles.