Jerome Ropati

New Zealand Warriors centre Jerome Ropati today announced he had decided to call time on his playing career ending an era in which he played across 12 NRL seasons and was a Rugby League World Cup winner with the Kiwis in 2008.

Regarded as one of the game’s best centres in his prime, the 29-year-old has had his last four seasons severely restricted by injuries, the last a broken jaw in what has proved to be his 145th and final game when the Vodafone Warriors met Wests Tigers at Westpac Stadium in Wellington on March 29.

In the past three and a half seasons he has been able to play just 18 NRL games.

While ending his playing days, though, he won’t be lost to rugby league or to the Vodafone Warriors. Chief executive Wayne Scurrah said Ropati would take up a role as a club ambassador for the rest of the season with plans to consider a full-time position for the longest-serving player in the 2014 NRL squad.

“It’s the right time for me to look ahead, to consider my family and my post-playing career,” said Ropati.