Luke Burt’s career will complete a full circle in Round 26 when he plays the final game of his career at the same ground and against the same opposition as it started back in Round 1, 1999.
Burt was only 17 when he played on the wing for Parramatta against St George Illawarra on the day that Sydney’s Olympic Stadium hosted its first rugby league matches before a (then) world record crowd of 104,583.
He handled the occasion with composure and his coolness and competence under pressure became hallmarks of his game. Although he conceded height and weight to most of his opponents, Burt was rarely fazed by pressure situations.
He will retire with the record as the highest try-scorer in the history of the Eels, its second highest point-scorer (behind Mick Cronin) and he is third on the club’s list of all-time appearances (behind Nathan Hindmarsh and Brett Kenny).
Premiership success proved elusive in his 13 years of first grade but, like team-mate Nathan Hindmarsh, he experienced the thrill of two grand finals (2001 and 2009).
Originally from Newcastle, Burt was a star at junior level, representing Australian Schoolboys and the Junior Kangaroos before making a smooth transition to the NRL.
Luke Burt's Stats:
|Born:||June 6, 1981, Newcastle, NSW (age 31)|
|Points:||1,790 (124 tries, 645 goals, 5 field goals)|
|First Grade Debut:||
Parramatta v St George Illawarra at Stadium Australia, 6/3/1999 (Rd 1)
|Junior Rep Honours:||Junior Kangaroos 1999
NSW Under-17s 1998; Sydney Under-18s 1998
Australian Schoolboys 1998 (from Whitebridge High)
Australian Schoolboys Under-15 merit team 1996
|Grand Finals:||2 – Parramatta 2001 (L), 2009 (L)|
Australian Prime Minister’s XIII 2011
Burt’s tally of 1,790 points places him eighth on the all-time list of premiership pointscorers.