Veteran forward Adam Blair will play his 331st and last NRL game tomorrow after confirming his decision today to end his 15-season first grade playing career after the Vodafone Warriors’ 20th-round ‘home’ clash against Manly at Central Coast Stadium in Gosford.
While the 34-year-old had an option in his contract for a fourth season with the club he has decided the time is right to retire.
“Adam has made an amazing contribution not just to the Vodafone Warriors but to rugby league across the board,” said Vodafone Warriors CEO Cameron George.
Adam has made an amazing contribution not just to the Vodafone Warriors but to rugby league across the boardCameron George Vodafone Warriors CEO
“He has had a huge influence on our players, especially the younger ones, with the way he has gone about looking after himself. He sets extremely high standards off the field and in the way he prepares himself for every training session and every game.
“It would have been an incredibly difficult decision for Adam knowing he had the option to play on for another year but, in the end, Jess and the kids have come first.
“We can’t thank Adam enough for what he has given to the game but he won’t be lost to the Vodafone Warriors. He’ll remain involved in a special role tailored to his strengths.”
Blair joined the Vodafone Warriors from the Brisbane Broncos (74 games) in 2018 after earlier stints with the West Tigers (71 games) and the Melbourne Storm (121 games).
The ex-Kiwi captain has the record for most NRL appearances by a New Zealander ahead of three other former Kiwi captains in Benji Marshall (323) and former Vodafone Warriors Ruben Wiki (311) and Simon Mannering (301). His tally of 331 will leave him 13th on the all-time list of 41 players in the 300-game club.
He was the 11th fastest overall and the sixth fastest forward to the 300 mark (13 years and 72 days). Blair has distinguished himself as one of the most durable players in the game, missing just 19 of a possible 326 games in the last 13 seasons.
Last year he became only the second Kiwi (after Ruben Wiki) and the ninth player overall to appear in 50 Tests.
Date of Birth: March 20, 1986
Birthplace: Whangarei, New Zealand
Junior Club: Northland Carvers
Rep Honours: 51 Tests for Kiwis (2006-2019), Four Nations (2009, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2016), Rugby League World Cup (2008, 2017), Tri Nations (2006)
NRL Debut: Melbourne v Wests Tigers, Leichhardt Oval, April 2, 2006 (Round 4)
Vodafone Warriors Debut: v South Sydney, Optus Stadium, Perth, March 10, 2018 (Round 1)
Vodafone Warriors No: 223
NRL Career: 330 appearances (2006-2020):
Melbourne: 121 appearances (2006-2011)
Wests Tigers: 71 appearances (2012-2014)
Brisbane: 74 appearances (2015-2017)
Vodafone Warriors: 64 appearances (2018-2020)
NRL Points: 56 (14 tries)