The NRL will honour 36 retiring players during a star-studded build-up to the 2015 NRL Telstra Premiership Grand Final between Brisbane Broncos and North Queensland Cowboys at ANZ Stadium tomorrow (Sunday, October 4).
Premiership winners, State of Origin and Test stars will officially hang up their boots following the 2015 NRL Telstra Premiership.
They include Grand Final captains Justin Hodges (Brisbane Broncos) and Clint Newton (Newcastle Knights).
Also present on the night to take part in a lap of honour for retiring and departing players will be David Stagg (Broncos), Frank Pritchard (Bulldogs), Glenn Hall (Cowboys), Bronson Harrison, Dan Hunt (Dragons), Richard Fa’aoso, Matt Keating, Beau Champion (Eels), David Fa’alogo, Kurt Gidley (Knights), Nigel Plum, Sika Manu, Nathan Smith, David Simmons (Panthers), Bryce Gibbs (Sharks), Ben Lowe (Rabbitohs), Bryan Norrie, Tom Learoyd-Lahrs (Storm), Matthew Bell, Keith Galloway (Wests Tigers) and Sam Rapira (Warriors).
Other players retiring or departing following the 2015 NRL Telstra Premiership include Reni Maitua, Krisnan Inu (Bulldogs), Fuifui Moimoi (Eels), Timana Tahu (Knights), David Williams (Sea Eagles), Brent Kite (Panthers), Terry Campese, Dane Tilse (Raiders), Glenn Stewart, Lote Tuqiri (Souths), Ben Roberts (Storm) and Brad Tighe and David Taylor (Titans).
“We will say goodbye to some outstanding footballers who have all made an enormous contribution to the game,” NRL Head of Football Todd Greenberg said.
“Justin Hodges has done just about everything to do in the game and he may farewell us as a premiership-winning captain.
“A number of retiring and departing players have represented their country, so the game will no doubt miss their on-field talents.
“But it is certainly heartening to know that, in many cases, our retiring or departing players will still be heavily involved in important work in and around rugby league.
“Look no further than Clint Newton, the chairman of the RLPA, as well as Dan Hunt, whose work as a State of Mind ambassador is invaluable.”
The Official Retiring Players Class of 2015 tribute will be a high point of a full day of entertainment, which will include a special performance by Australian rock legends Cold Chisel.
The Australian National Anthem will be performed by Jess Mauboy.
All tickets to the NRL Grand Final include return travel on Sydney Trains and Major Event Buses, with fans encouraged to take advantage of the public transport, arrive early and enjoy the pre-game festivities.
NRL Grand Final celebrations will begin in the Sydney Olympic Park precinct outside ANZ Stadium at 11am, with family-friendly activities, live entertainment and music, beer gardens, cafes and pop-up eateries, live motorcross and a mini touch football field.
Direct trains will run between Central and Olympic Park every 15 minutes from 1pm to 5pm and then every 7-8 minutes from 5pm to 9pm, stopping at Redfern and Strathfield.
Sydney Olympic Park Major Event Buses will start running between 12noon and 12:40pm depending on the route. Buses will begin arriving at Olympic Park from 1:30pm with the last bus expected to arrive by 7pm.
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.
11:00am Precinct opens
1:15pm ANZ Stadium gates open
1:35pm 2015 NRL Holden Cup U20s Grand Final: Penrith Panthers v Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
3:40pm 2015 NRL State Championship Grand Final: Newcastle Knights v Ipswich Jets
6:00pm 2015 NSWRL Harold Matthews Cup Sports Relay
6:30pm Official Retiring Players Class of 2015 tribute
6:40pm Cold Chisel
7.15pm Delivery of the Provan-Summons Trophy by Ken Stephen Medal winner Luke Douglas
7.20pm National Anthem performed by Jess Mauboy
7.24pm: 2015 NRL Telstra Premiership Grand Final Kick Off