Cowboy O'Neill retires due to injury

·2-min read

North Queensland centre Justin O'Neill has announced his retirement from rugby league effective immediately due to a chronic knee injury.

The premiership winner with Melbourne and North Queensland has battled knee issues in the back-end of his career and will retire aged 30.

O'Neill played 67 games for the Storm and was pivotal in their premiership victory in 2012.

He was also a key member of the Cowboys' 2015 premiership-winning side and amassed a total of 122 appearances for the club, scoring 44 tries.

O'Neill said it was disappointing to leave a sport that's done so much for him and his family.

"Starting out in 2010 I had a small goal in my head which was to hopefully play until I was 30 and I've done that," he said.

"I am very grateful for the career I have had and the success and friendships I have gained along the way.

"I want to thank everyone who has played a part, big or small in my career, including the two clubs I played my footy with - the North Queensland Cowboys and the Melbourne Storm.

Injuries limited O'Neill to just 30 games over the past three seasons, managing 15 tries in that time.

O'Neill also represented his state of Queensland four times, and played twice for Australia.

Cowboys head of football Micheal Luck said O'Neill was an immense contributor to the club on and off the field during his time as a Cowboy.

"Justin has given terrific service in his seven seasons at our club. He was a class player and a massive contributor to the 2015 premiership and the golden run the club had during that period," he said.

"On behalf of everyone at our club, I would like to wish Justin and his family all the best for the future."

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