Wendell Sailor news leaves fans saddened as NRL great makes massive decision for family

The former Broncos and Dragons player is still widely adored by NRL fans.

NRL fans have expressed their sadness after Wendell Sailor revealed he'll be quitting his role on Triple M at the end of the season. The Brisbane Broncos and St George Illawarra Dragons great has become a popular commentator since his retirement and regularly calls game for Triple M.

But the 49-year-old revealed on Thursday that he won't be continuing his commentary role in 2025 and will scale back his media commitments in order to spend more time with family. The former Queensland and Kangaroos winger has two kids with wife Tara - son Tristan (who now plays for the Broncos) and daughter Matisse.

“I’m not calling any more football after this year,” Sailor told The Courier Mail. “I’m having a break from commentating. I have been calling the footy for a long time. I will do the Rush Hour show and then I will get back and do grassroots stuff. I’m going to go and support my kids.”

Wendell Sailor and wife Tara.
Wendell Sailor is scaling back his media commitments to spend more time with family. Image: Getty

The dual-international, who represented Australia in both rugby league and rugby union, said a conversation with former Broncos coach Wayne Bennett convinced him to make the decision. “I spoke to Wayne and he has been really good for me,” he said. “He said ‘Del, when you were at your best, what were you doing?’ I said just being around people, doing the corporate stuff with you.

“I’m going to get back to doing corporate stuff, playing golf and supporting Tristan and my daughter. I am 50 next year and my son and daughter need me around, so next year I will have a break from calling footy.”

Wendell Sailor with wife Tara, daughter Matisse and son Tristan.
Wendell Sailor with wife Tara, daughter Matisse and son Tristan in 2014. (Image: Getty)

The news left NRL fans with mixed emotions. Many were left saddened to hear of his decision considering how popular he is on radio, however many more commended him for putting his family first.

Wendell Sailor with Triple M colleagues.
Wendell Sailor (centre) with Triple M colleagues Lynette Bolton, Jude Bolton, Jana Hocking and Mick Molloy. (Image: Getty)


Sailor played 189 games for the Broncos and 33 for the Dragons, as well as 17 State of Origin games for Queensland and 21 Test matches for Australia. However he revealed his ill-will towards the Dragons earlier this year after they released son Tristan in 2020.

Tristan debuted for the Dragons in 2019 but was released the following year after getting limited opportunities in first grade. The 25-year-old was accused of sexual assault not long after, however he was found not guilty in 2022 and has since rebuilt his career at the Broncos.

“The way Tristan got treated at the Dragons was disgusting,” Wendell said in April. “To be honest, it wasn’t just Tristan who got treated poorly. Other Dragons kids have been let go … the culture of the club hasn’t been good since Wayne (Bennett) left.

Wendell Sailor and son Tristan in 2019.
Wendell Sailor with son Tristan after his NRL debut with the Dragons in 2019. (Image: Getty)

“Tristan loved the Dragons more than me. They picked Corey Norman and that’s fine, I understood that, but Tristan went from starting, to the bench, to 18th man, to No. 21 and 22 and out of the squad with no reason at all as to why.

“Then before a game against the Storm – their last game of the (2020) season – a Dragons official walks up to Tristan and says, ‘Thanks for your service, we no longer need you at this club, we’re going in a different direction’. Seriously, what a joke. Tell Tristan three months earlier to give him a chance to find another club.

“This is a kid who had been at the Dragons since he was 13. I had other Dragons players calling me saying what a joke it was. And despite that, Tristan was still doing extras at training. I’m no longer upset because Tristan has learned to forgive and forget, so I’ve had to as well, but that summed up the Dragons and how they do business."