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McKendry announces NRL retirement

Former Panthers prop Sam McKendry has confirmed his NRL career is over while committing his playing services to St Marys Rugby League Club for 2020.

McKendry made his first grade debut in 2008 with the Panthers and last played in the NRL in 2018, finishing with 147 NRL appearances and eight Test appearances to his name.

"In 2007 I left my family back home in New Zealand and made the move to Penrith with a dream to play NRL," McKendry wrote on Instagram. "I've spent the last 13 years with the [the Panthers] doing what I love as a job and got to live out my dream.

"I'm proud to retire as a one club player and I thank everyone both past and present at the Penrith Panthers for their guidance and support over the years. Also a massive thank you to everyone who has followed my journey along the way.

"My career didn't end as I planned due to consecutive ACL injuries but I never let injury force me into medical retirement and fought back each time to retire on my own terms. It's been one hell of a journey and it wasn't always easy but I wouldn't change a thing."

McKendry was given an official farewell by Panthers at the 2019 Merv Cartwright Medal and will begin training with St Marys in the coming weeks.

Acknowledgement of Country

Penrith Panthers players and staff respect and honour the traditional custodians of the land and pay our respects to their elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.