Jamie Buhrer opts to retire from NRL

Premiership-winning utility Jamie Buhrer, 29, has announced his decision to retire from the NRL.
Premiership-winning utility Jamie Buhrer, 29, has announced his decision to retire from the NRL.

Former Manly premiership winner and NSW State of Origin forward Jamie Buhrer has retired from the NRL.

Buhrer, who won a title with the Sea Eagles in 2011 before moving to Newcastle in 2017, made the decision last month to end his NRL career at age 29.

Off-contract at the Knights at the end of 2019, the back-rower opted to end his pursuit of another contract elsewhere and told close friends of his decision this week.

He also could likely have continued his career in England but with a young family, comprising four children with wife Grace, he has opted to stay home in Australia.

"I just felt I had got a lot out of the game," Buhrer, who finished with 173 NRL games, told AAP.

"There was the chance there would be a possibility (of a team for next year) if I waited a bit longer but the chance of not playing in the NRL didn't bother me.

"And I think I realised then that as much as I still love the game, I didn't have the same desire I had previously."

A co-captain at Newcastle under Nathan Brown, he played just nine games for the Knights in 2019 after being asked to make the shift to hooker.

But the Parramatta boy grew up a Sea Eagles fan and played 128 games for Manly, including their 2011 grand final success.

"I just felt privileged to be able to play in a team of that calibre," Buhrer said.

"Guys I looked up to growing up, guys I respect as players and what they achieved. I got to be part of a team that was one of the best.

"Being a somewhat small back-rower, Anthony Watmough and Glenn Stewart were guys I looked up to as players.

"In 2008, I was at the grand final cheering them on in the stands. And then three years later, I am on the field winning a grand final with them."

He was rewarded with an Origin appearance for NSW in the series opener in 2012 and played in another decider for Manly in 2013.

"To be able to (win that 2011 premiership) with some of my best mates, Daly (Cherry-Evans), Kieran Foran, Darcy (Lussick) and Will Hopoate as well was special.

"I was lucky enough I got to win a grand final but to do it with a team I supported alongside people I admired, it's pretty cool."

Australian Associated Press