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Melbourne Storm centre Aaron Moule has today announced his retirement from rugby league.
Moule cited an ongoing battle with injury as the basis for his decision to leave the game.
?Due to a number of injuries over my career I have decided to retire from rugby league,? Moule said.
?I understand injuries are a part of the game but the negative affect they have had and are having on my life has taken away my desire to continue playing football.
?At 25, 3 shoulder reconstructions, knee surgery and a severe case of osteitis pubis head a long list of injuries.
?Quite simply the passion to play isn't there any more.?
Moule said he had not taken the decision to retire lightly and will now remain in Melbourne to focus on business ventures outside football.
?This wasn't a knee jerk reaction, I didn't wake up one day and think, I've had enough, I wish to retire,? Moule added.
?It has been a fairly gradual decision. It has been a long battle to return from injury and I just feel this is where I should be heading.
?I understand the dynamics of team sport and with this in mind it made my decision very difficult to leave at this time of the season.
?I have spoken to a lot of people and most had a similar view, that I will be a long time retired. They wanted to make sure I was making the right decision and I feel I am.
?I have a number of business interests here, I won't be leaving the place, I enjoy the people so I'll be staying here.
?I hope everyone will understand my decision.?
Moule was quick to highlight the support he has enjoyed from the Storm since moving to Melbourne in 1998.
?I want to make clear that my decision is in no way a reflection on the club I have been involved with for the past six years,? Moule explained.
?It (Storm) is an outstanding club made up of great people and I will be maintaining a strong relationship with the players, coaching staff, supporters and everyone else involved.?
Storm executive director John Ribot expressed disappointment at Moule?s departure but paid tribute to the centre?s courage.
?I'm feeling tremendous disappointment at the moment but I really appreciate Aaron's honesty,? Ribot said.
?He has experienced a lot of adversity and it comes to a point where he has had to make a judgement and he feels this is the right way to go.
?We have to support him, he has always been a key part of our club and he always will be. It is really sad to see him go, but he has left a good legacy.
Following a nine game stint with the defunct South Queensland Crushers in 1997, Moule joined the Storm in 1998 and has played 113 games for the club.
He has been the Storm?s leading try scorer for the past two seasons ? his 17 tries last year ranked him equal third in the NRL ? and was part of the Storm?s winning premiership side in 1999.
Redcliffe born Moule has endured a shocking run of injury. He suffered a knee reconstruction in 1997 and following his first shoulder reconstruction in 1998, a second ensued in 2000 before he was forced to undergo shoulder surgery for a third time at the end of the 2001 season.
After suffering three post season operations in four years, Moule was then plagued by osteitis pubis throughout the 2002 season and has struggled to overcome the debilitating groin injury ever since.
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James Avery: Phone (03) 9421 3222 Mobile: 0411 623 024 [email protected]