The NRL will pay tribute to 27 retiring or departing players during a moving build-up to the NRL Telstra Premiership 2019 Grand Final on Sunday (October 6) between Sydney Roosters and Canberra Raiders at ANZ Stadium.
Premiership winners, 300-Club members and Test and Origin stars are included in this year’s class of Retiring and Departing Players.
The list of those who will be honoured on Sunday includes Paul Gallen (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks), Greg Inglis (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Robbie Farah (Wests Tigers), John Sutton (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Tim Mannah (Parramatta Eels) and James Maloney (Penrith Panthers).
Sydney Roosters halfback Cooper Cronk, who will be playing in the Grand Final, will not be part of the official parade, but will be acknowledged as part of the ceremony.
Other players who will be part of the retiring players presentation are: Jeremy Latimore (St George Illawarra Dragons), Sam Tagataese (Brisbane Broncos), Michael Gordon (Gold Coast Titans), Shaun Fensom (Brisbane Broncos), Blake Ayshford (Warriors), Will Matthews (Gold Coast Titans), Robbie Rochow (Wests Tigers), Trent Hodkinson (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles), Nathan Ross (Newcastle Knights), Kaysa Pritchard (Parramatta Eels), Greg Eastwood (Bulldogs), Greg Bird (Gold Coast Titans), George Burgess (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Sosaia Feki (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks), Manu Vatuvei (Warriors) and Shaun Kenny-Dowall (Newcastle Knights).
“This is a wonderful list,” NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said.
“We have five 300-gamers, representative stars and premiership winners from each of the past seven seasons, including Paul Gallen and John Sutton, who captained their respective teams to Grand Final wins.
“And obviously this year’s group also includes Cooper Cronk, who has the chance to retire following a third consecutive Grand Final win.
“It will be wonderful to acknowledge this group on Grand Final day and the parade will once again be one of the real highlights of the day.”
The entertainment spectacular will include a performance by world-renowned band OneRepublic, including a collaboration with Sydney artist Thandi Phoenix.
Australian artists Daryl Braithwaite, Christine Anu and Natalie Bassingthwaighte will also perform throughout the event.
Fans are encouraged to be in their seats inside ANZ Stadium before 6.30pm to see the retiring players parade and OneRepublic.
Supporters are reminded that all tickets to the NRL Telstra Premiership Grand Final include return travel on Sydney Trains and Major Event Buses, with fans encouraged to take advantage of public transport, arrive early and enjoy the pre-game festivities.
Direct train services from Central to Olympic Park will run every 10 minutes from 1pm, stopping at Redfern, Strathfield then Olympic Park. For fans coming from the west, trains will run from Penrith every 30 minutes from 1pm.
Sydney Olympic Park Major Event Buses start running every 5 to 10 minutes between 12 noon and 12.50pm depending on the route.
Fans are reminded to keep their tickets for the return journey, as customers must have a valid ticket when travelling on public transport.
Fans are also reminded that Daylight Saving begins in NSW on Sunday when clocks go forward one hour at 2am.
NRL Grand Final celebrations will begin in the Sydney Olympic Park precinct with an NRL Fan Zone offering merchandise, family-friendly activities and live entertainment. Restaurants, cafes and bars will open for extended hours pre and post-game.
The NRL Telstra Premiership Grand Final 2019 is supported by the NSW Government, through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW.
For a full broadcast schedule of Grand Final Day, please click here.
2019 NRL TELSTRA PREMIERSHIP GRAND FINAL SYDNEY
12pm Precinct celebrations begin in Sydney Olympic Park.
1:15pm Gates open
1:35pm State Championship Grand Final – Burleigh Bears v Newtown Jets
4:05pm NRL Holden Women’s Premiership Grand Final – Brisbane Broncos v St George Illawarra Dragons
6:30pm Retiring and departing players class of 2019 tributed on field, followed by a pre-match show featuring an exclusive performance from world-renowned OneRepublic.
7:30pm NRL Telstra Premiership 2019 Grand Final Sydney – Sydney Roosters v Canberra Raiders