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An injury-plagued 2003 was the main reason behind Wests Tigers winger Robbie Beckett's decision to retire from the National Rugby League.
His manager Peter Lord, has confirmed that the Tigers have released Beckett from his one-year contract, enabling him to move to Tumut in the NSW Snowy Mountains.
The 28-year-old former Penrith flyer will play with the Tumut Blues in the Wagga Wagga competition under captain-coach and former Illawarra, Souths and Western Reds prop Brett Goldspink.
Restricted to only four NRL matches this year because of injuries, a dislocated hip at the end of this season was the last straw for Beckett, whose plans are to eventually run a pub in Tumut.
Beckett is best remembered this year for smashing Newcastle fullback Robbie O'Davis in a tackle which left the Queenslander with horrific facial injuries from a fiery round seven NRL clash.
"It was just an accident," Beckett said. "These things happen and I got split open behind the back of the head.
"It was a bad year. I had a few injuries as well ... but it wasn't the best way to go out."
Beckett is looking forward to playing with Goldspink as the pair played together for English club Halifax in 2002.