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St George Illawarra Dragons hooker Heath L’Estrange announced on Friday his decision to retire from first-grade rugby league.

The Hills Bulls junior made 16 appearances for the Dragons this season and retires having played 192 first-grade games (NRL and English Super League).

"I'm so lucky to have played 12 years of professional rugby league and I've loved every second of it, if I could play forever I would," said L'Estrange.

"It's not the way I wanted to go but I'm doing what's right for my family and will now look forward to what lies ahead.

"A special thank you to my beautiful wife for supporting me through thick and thin and travelling across the world with me as well as bringing our little miracle Grace into the world.

"I also want to say thank you to my family for all of their support and being there from the beginning."

L’Estrange, 30, made his debut for the Sydney Roosters during the 2004 season before joining the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles in 2008.

The hooker won an NRL Premiership (2008) during his tenure with the Sea-Eagles before joining the Bradford Bulls in the English Super League in (2010-13).

L’Estrange returned to the Roosters in 2014 before joining the Dragons prior to the commencement of this campaign.

He was also an important member of the Club’s NSW Cup feeder team the Illawarra Cutters this season.

"I'm grateful to have played alongside some absolute legends of the game and made many lifelong friends," said L'Estrange.

"To all the support staff and coaches I've been under, you have made my career what it is today and I'll be forever thankful.

"I now look forward to the next journey and hope to stay in the game as it is my ultimate passion."

Acknowledgement of Country

St George Illawarra Dragons respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples, where our games are played, our programs are conducted and in the communities we support.

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