Young Warriors back-rower forced to retire due to injury

Ben Henry

His injury history has been well documented but it is never the way a player wants to depart the game. Unfortunately, for New Zealand Warriors back-rower Ben Henry, injury has forced him to retire at the completion of the current season.

The hard-working back-rower who had so much untapped promise and potential has a long injury history, namely three major knee injuries in the last four years.

Playing in just 52 NRL games as a result since his debut in 2012, the injuries – two ACL and one patella tendon injury – proved to be the end, even though Henry admits that it was a tough decision to make.

“It’s been a tough call to make because my goals were always to be a professional rugby league player,” he said.

“It’s a huge disappointment but after all the damage to my knee, there really wasn’t any option. While my heart was set on coming back yet again, I’ve had to accept my body won’t allow me to compete at the level I need to.

“While there have been setbacks, I’m still so grateful for the opportunities rugby league has given me. To be able to play for the club in the NYC and the NRL as well as making my Test debut for my country has been a privilege.”

Whilst his career may not have been as long as he wanted it to be, Henry was grateful for the chance to play alongside such an array of talented players.

“I’ve played alongside so many great players and I’ll always cherish those times. I want to thank all the team-mates and coaches I’ve had for being there to support me through the good and bad times,” said Henry.

“This isn’t the way I planned it but now I have made this decision I’m ready for the next phase of life after football.”

The Warriors Managing Director Jim Doyle praised Henry’s contributions to the club as a player and was sorry to see his career end so prematurely.

“It’s a sad day for Ben and for all of us seeing his playing career ended so prematurely,” he said.

“Above all, Ben is an impressive person with so many qualities and we see him providing so much value to the Vodafone Warriors.

“He has always been extremely professional in all he does, in the way he has prepared himself as a player and equally in the way he has prepared for his life without football.”

Whilst he will not be involved as a player, the Warriors are looking at getting Henry involved within their staff in some capacity.

“In addition to his rugby league career, he has been a champion of our education and well-being program and he has taken on all the opportunities presented to him,” said Doyle.

“The primary purpose of the role for Ben is to work with the players, the football department and our education and well-being team to promote and drive the success of the NRL team through constantly improving our standards.”

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