St George Illawarra Dragons wish to acknowledge the retirement of veteran hooker Andrew McCullough.
McCullough played 41 games in the Red V after joining ahead of the 2021 season but has made the decision to retire with one year remaining on his deal to transition into his post-playing career and move home to Queensland with his young family.
"I've decided to finish up this year; It's worked out well for transitioning for the next couple of years," McCullough said.
"I've probably been battling a couple of niggling injuries over the last couple of years that people don't probably understand or realise. That's football.
"[The decision] was more so transitioning, the opportunities that came for me the next couple of years.
"I thought I'd jump at the opportunity now while those further opportunities are still there and go from there.
"It feels right. I'm happy, I'm content, I just want to get on with it now."
Dragons coach Anthony Griffin paid tribute to McCullough as being "the ultimate professional".
"He was an extremely tough competitor right up until his last game," Griffin said.
"He was the youngest forward to play 200 games. He came back from a medial injury a couple of weeks early to play against the Broncos.
"The biggest thing is he's just a great teammate. Every player that played with him would have enjoyed playing with him and respected him. I think that's the most important thing."
Dragons CEO Ryan Webb also thanked McCullough for his service to the club.
“Andrew has been a big part of the Dragons for the past two seasons, and a wonderful servant to the game over a very long period," Webb said.
“While it’s sad to see him retire, the time was right for him to move into his post-playing career.
“Due to his knowledge of the sport and standing in the game, we are looking to keep Macca involved in the club in an off-field role and we'll be able to announce more details of that soon."
McCullough became a member of the 300-club during the 2022 season, and retires with 309 first grade games for Brisbane, Newcastle and St George Illawarra.
The Dragons thank Andrew for his contribution to St George Illawarra and wish him all the very best for the future.