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Fan favourite Soliola calls time on 17-year career

Fan favourite Sia Soliola has announced his retirement after 17 years of professional rugby league.

In a career that included 336 matches in both the NRL and Super League, Soliola earned a reputation as a no-nonsense forward who was admired by those he played with, and against.

“I’m at ease with everything now,” Soliola told the Raiders website

“There’s a few mixed emotions, I’m excited and a bit nervous but relieved to make the decision to leave the game which has given me a lot and I’m looking forward to what’s ahead."

Soliola's career started and ended under the guidance of Ricky Stuart. His NRL debut came in 2005 at the Roosters.

As well as playing 17 years on club football, Soliola played 12 Test matches for New Zealand and four for Samoa.

The powerhouse middle forward spoke glowingly of his time with Canberra.

"When I first came here to this club and Ricky spoke about the vision and what he had regarding the playing group and the club as a whole, that’s what really excited me," Soliola said.

"Especially being over at St Helens where I really enjoyed my time over there and everyone notices how the English Super League operates and how the crowds and communities come together and he wanted me to bring that energy and experience that I had over there and bring it to Canberra."  

The Raiders also announced on Tuesday that Dunamis Lui, Siliva Havili, Ryan James, Darby Medlyn and Caleb Aekins have also finished their time at the club.