One of the game’s most decorated outside backs has announced his retirement from rugby league after 14 years at the highest level.

David Mead carved out a reputation for his speed and ability to find the line during his time at the Gold Coast Titans and Brisbane Broncos, scoring 75 tries in 171 NRL appearances.

He also spent three years in France, helping lead a golden era for Super League side Catalans Dragons that resulted in a Challenge Cup title before the COVID pandemic hit. His strike-rate in France was remarkable, finishing his time abroad with 29 tries in just 58 appearances.

Mead also carved out his place in the international arena and will go down as one of the most respected PNG Kumuls players of all time. He became captain of the side in 2016 and led their historic 2017 World Cup campaign.

He signed off from Test football in style, scoring a try in his final outing for his beloved Kumuls as they upset Fiji back in June.

“I’d like to say a big thank you to the Broncos, Titans, Catalans, NRL and Super League for giving me the opportunity to live out my dream,” Mead said in a release.

“This game has taught me a lot and I’ll always be grateful for my time playing footy.

“Thank you to all my team mates, the coaching staff and the many people who’ve been involved with the game over the last 14 years. You’ve all played an important and valuable part in my development as a player and a person.”

Though Mead didn’t take the field for Brisbane this year, Broncos coach Kevin Walters was full of praise for the outgoing veteran.

“Meady has been a great servant of rugby league both on and off the field and we’ve been lucky to have him here,” Walters told club media.

“His longevity in the game is a testament to his professionalism and his attention to detail in training and preparation. He’s also one of the nicest blokes you’ll ever meet.

“We wish David and his family all the best in the future. They will always be welcome here.”


  1. Seems strange to quit now, rather than wait until the end of the season. I have no doubt he can help out the Broncs for the next couple of months, even if he can’t crack the first team.

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