NRL 2021: Sydney Roosters star Josh Morris plays final game of professional rugby league

Jasper BruceNCA NewsWire
Josh Morris (L) got his start with the Dragons alongside twin brother Brett (R). Image: Lea Tracee
Camera IconJosh Morris (L) got his start with the Dragons alongside twin brother Brett (R). Image: Lea Tracee Credit: News Corp Australia

The curtain has come down on Josh Morris’ professional rugby league career.

The Roosters centre ran out for the last time in his side’s 42-6 semi-final loss to Manly on Friday night and will hang up the boots as a veteran of 325 first grade games.

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Morris will be remembered for his sturdy defensive game and for the many tries that ensued from his hard running of the football.

“It’s been one hell of a ride. Would have liked to go on a bit further, but no regrets here. I have loved every minute of it,” an emotional Morris told Channel 9.

“It hit me like a tonne of bricks when they had the guard there, welled up a bit as I walked in.

“Last time I will get to share this field with a great bunch of men. So, as I said, it’s been a wonderful journey and wouldn’t change anything.

“I have enjoyed every minute of it, as a young south coast kid. Lived my dream for the last 15-years. It’s about resting up and enjoying what retirement has to offer.”

Roosters coach Trent Robinson lauded Morris’ contribution to the game in his post-match press conference.

“There’s a saying about filling your 60 seconds with distance run, about running every second of your minute, and he ran every second of that minute, right until the end,” Robinson said.

“He filled a career from round one or two in 2007 to fourteen years later, to finish with 300 odd games and Australia and New South Wales (appearances). He can rest now. He can feel really proud about the way he played the game of rugby league.”

Asked what he admired most about the veteran, Robinson said it was his team-oriented outlook on the game.

“He values his teammates very highly and he values the camaraderie,” he said.

“He’s always trying to improve the guys around him. He’s just played the game with honour for such a long time.”

During his 15 seasons in the top flight, Morris played in the backs at the Dragons, Bulldogs, Sharks and Roosters.

Josh (white) and Brett (red) Morris, sons of Steve 'Slippery' Morris at Wollongong Beach, both members of St George Illawarra Dragons NRL team as they follow family tradition.
Camera IconJosh Morris (L) got his start with the Dragons alongside twin brother Brett (R). Image: Lea Tracee Credit: News Corp Australia

He excelled in all forms of the game, appearing for New South Wales in the State of Origin on 15 occasions and for the Australian Test side six times.

The 35-year-old twice played in losing grand final sides, both during his time with the Bulldogs under coach Des Hasler — the man whose Sea Eagles ended Morris’ career on Friday.

Morris scored a staggering 158 tries during his NRL career and retires as the 10th highest try scorer in Australian professional rugby league history. He scored his last four-pointer in the Roosters’ elimination final win over Gold Coast last week.

Roosters assistant coach Craig Fitzgibbon follows Morris out the door to take up the first head coaching job of his career with the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks.

Originally published as NRL 2021: Sydney Roosters star Josh Morris plays final game of professional rugby league

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