NRL 2020: NZ Warriors veteran Adam Blair announces retirement after 15 seasons

NZ Warriors forward and Kiwis legend Adam Blair will play his final NRL game on Sunday after announcing his retirement from the sport at the end of the season. 

Blair will play his 331st NRL game against the Manly Sea Eagles, bringing an end to a successful career which has seen him win NRL titles and a World Cup. 

The 34-year-old did have an option in his contract to play next season, but he has decided now is the right time to retire. 

Blair holds the record for the most NRL appearances by the New Zealanders ahead of  Benji Marshall (323) and former Warriors duo Ruben Wiki (311) and Simon Mannering (301), and is 13th on the all-time list. 

"Adam has made an amazing contribution not just to the Vodafone Warriors but to rugby league across the board," says Warriors chief executive Cameron George.

"He has had a huge influence on our players, especially the younger ones, with the way he has gone about looking after himself.

"He sets extremely high standards off the field and in the way he prepares himself for every training session and every game.

"It would have been an incredibly difficult decision for Adam knowing he had the option to play on for another year but, in the end, Jess and the kids have come first.

"We can't thank Adam enough for what he has given to the game but he won't be lost to the Warriors. He'll remain involved in a special role tailored to his strengths."

Last week, Stuff reported Blair had been offered an off-field role at the club which would see him work with Māori and Pacific Island communities to help grow the game. 

On top of his achievements in the NRL, Blair has also had success representing New Zealand. Last year he became only the second Kiwi (after Wiki) and the ninth player overall to play 50 tests. 

He is also one of three active players (Marshall and Issac Luke) in the NRL who were part of the Kiwis' World Cup winning side in 2008, when they beat Australia 34-20 in the final. 

Blair joined the Warriors from the Brisbane Broncos (74 games) in 2018 after earlier stints with the West Tigers (71 games) and the Melbourne Storm (121 games).

With Blair retiring, it will free up money for the Warriors to put finishing touches to their squad for next season. 

The Warriors have already signed props Addin Fonua-Blake, Ben Murdoch-Masila, and Kane Evans for 2021, along with centre Euan Aitken.

Join us for live updates of the Warriors v Manly from 5pm Sunday

NRL 2020: NZ Warriors veteran Adam Blair announces retirement after 15 seasons