Re­tir­ing Lewis will lap up his farewell

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - 2018 GRAND FINAL -

LUKE Lewis is re­tir­ing to join a new team.

The team, made up of an un­prece­dented eight triple-cen­tu­ri­ons and more than 4000 games worth of NRL ex­pe­ri­ence, will be farewelled with a lap of hon­our at ANZ Sta­dium tonight.

And just like his Aus­tralian, NSW, Pen­rith and Cronulla team­mates, Lewis is plan­ning to be there when it matters for the new band of 18 brothers.

“Most of the 18 guys re­tir­ing this year I have played with and against, and we’re all go­ing to go through ups and downs over the next few years,’’ Lewis said.

“But I’ve spent time with the ma­jor­ity of the boys re­tir­ing this week and you look across the room and you re­alise that they’re only a phone call away.

“They’re prob­a­bly go­ing to ex­pe­ri­ence the same things that I’m go­ing to ex­pe­ri­ence and vice versa.’’

Johnathan Thurston, Beau Scott, Chris Heigh­ing­ton, Sam Thai­day, Ja­son Nightin­gale, Si­mon Man­ner­ing, Peter Wal­lace and Ja­son Clark will join Lewis on the lap of hon­our tonight.

The NRL, led by wel­fare and ed­u­ca­tion am­bas­sadors Dene Halatau, An­drew Ryan and Nigel Va­gana, do a won­der­ful job in not only cel­e­brat­ing the re­tir­ing play­ers’ con­tri­bu­tion to the game, but also as­sist­ing their tran­si­tion into the work­force.

Every re­tiree and their part­ner spent last Fri­day at an NRL work­shop fo­cused on their next phase of life.

Lewis said he was look­ing for­ward to more time with son Levi and daugh­ter Hazel.

“More time with the kids is the first goal and I’m hop­ing to stay in­volved in some ca­pac­ity,’’ he said.

Re­tir­ing star Luke Lewis at a Sharks func­tion at Kir­ri­billi House this week. Pic­ture: Adam Tay­lor,

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