Panthers prop Sam McKendry.

Panthers prop and former New Zealand international Sam McKendry has announced his retirement at the age of 30, bowing out of the NRL as a one-club player.

McKendry made his first grade debut in 2008 with Penrith and last played in the NRL in 2018, finishing with 147 NRL appearances and eight Test appearances to his name.

"In 2007 I left my family back home in New Zealand and made the move to Penrith with a dream to play NRL," McKendry wrote on Instagram. "I've spent the last 13 years with the [the Panthers] doing what I love as a job and got to live out my dream.

"My career didn't end as I planned due to consecutive ACL injuries but I never let injury force me into medical retirement and fought back each time to retire on my own terms. It's been one hell of a journey and it wasn't always easy but I wouldn't change a thing."

Although McKendry's NRL days are up he will line up for St Marys Rugby League Club in 2020.

 
 
 
 
 
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Today I’m hanging up the boots and announcing my retirement from Rugby League. It’s taken me a while to make this decision but I’m finally content and ready to move onto the next chapter of my life. In 2007 I left my family back home in New Zealand and made the move to Penrith with a dream to play NRL. I worked hard and was lucky enough to get my debut and later play for @nzmaorirugbyleague and @nzrugbyleague . I’ve spent the last 13 years with the @penrithpanthers doing what I love as a job and got to live out my dream. I’m proud to retire as a one club player and I thank everyone both past and present at the Penrith Panthers for their guidance and support over the years. Also a massive thank you to everyone who has followed my journey along the way. My career didn’t end as I planned due to consecutive ACL injuries but I never let injury force me into medical retirement and fought back each time to retire on my own terms. Its been one hell of a journey and it wasn’t always easy but I wouldn’t change a thing. I wouldn’t of got this far without the support of my team mates, family and friends and I’m very thankful. To my wife you have stuck by me on this roller coaster and kept me on track and given me three beautiful children. I wouldn’t be where I am today without you and I can’t wait to see what the future has planned for us. Looking back over the years I’ve had a good career and I’m proud of the achievements I’ve made, I’m happy and healthy so that’s the main thing. My footy days aren’t completely over and I’ve agreed to play with St Marys Rugby League Club for 2020. Looking forward to having a run around with the boys. Keep chasing your dreams and never give up. Thanks for the memories - Sam.

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