The National Rugby League (NRL) will acknowledge 21 retiring or departing players ahead of the NRL Telstra Premiership 2022 Grand Final between Penrith Panthers and Parramatta Eels.
The list of players who will attend on Grand Final Day to be acknowledged includes 300-game players Aiden Tolman (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks) and Josh Morris (Sydney Roosters), the latter who will be celebrated alongside his twin brother Brett (Sydney Roosters).
Others who will take part in the tribute include Ryan James, Tyrone Roberts, Chelsea Baker and Meg Ward (Brisbane Broncos), Ashley Taylor (Warriors), Russell Packer and James Roberts (Wests Tigers), Josh McGuire and Kody House (St George Illawarra Dragons), and Corey Thompson (Gold Coast Titans).
Additional players to be acknowledged through the tribute are Paul Vaughan (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), David Mead and Ben Te’o (Brisbane Broncos), Benji Marshall (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Corey Norman (St George Illawarra Dragons), Joseph Leilua (Wests Tigers), Will Chambers (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks) and Kevin Proctor (Gold Coast Titans).
A number of players in the retiring players parade will take part in this season’s tribute having missed the opportunity to participate in 2021 due to COVID restrictions and border closures. Those players who were unable to attend on Grand Final Day due to restrictions in 2021 had been given the opportunity to participate in the 2022 tribute.
“The retiring and departing players tribute is an important moment in our season and for our game, on our biggest day,” NRL CEO Andrew Abdo said.
“This is an opportunity to celebrate and thank the players who have provided so much to rugby league over their careers. We also acknowledge the contribution of their partners and families. The male and female players in our game are amazing athletes and they are also important leaders in the community. Their contributions are part of the wonderful story and history of rugby league and will be remembered and celebrated long into the future.”
Australian hip-hop legends Bliss n Eso (featuring JOY.) will perform their hit, “Moments” as part of the tribute to the game’s retiring and departing players.
The NRLW Grand Final will also be honoured with its own Pre-Game show as powerhouse soul and blues vocalist, Mahalia Barnes, Western Sydney’s new queen of hip-hop and RnB, A.GIRL, and Emma Donovan team up to deliver a re-imagining of iconic Aussie classic, “The Real Thing”.
The NRL Grand Final Pre-Game Show will be headlined by Jimmy Barnes with friends including ARIA-winning singer-songwriters, the mighty Diesel and special guest Josh Teskey, alongside award-winning Indigenous singer-songwriter Emma Donovan and Eurovision star Sheldon Riley.
Gates will open at Accor Stadium at 1.00pm. Fans are encouraged to use public transport with free public transport (via integrated ticketing) for the event at Accor Stadium.
Fans are encouraged to plan ahead, arrive early and enjoy the NRL State Championship Grand Final between Penrith Panthers and Norths Devils at 1.20pm, the NRL Women’s Telstra Premiership Grand Final at 3.55pm as well as local venues, pubs, restaurants and local parklands.
Supporters are reminded that Parramatta Eels and Penrith Panthers will be holding exclusive Live Site Events for Club Members who have missed out on securing a ticket to the NRL Telstra Premiership Grand Final.
The NRL Telstra Premiership Grand Final is proudly supported by the NSW Government through Destination New South Wales.
NRL TELSTRA PREMIERSHIP 2022 GRAND FINAL
1pm – Gates Open
1.20pm – NRL State Championship, Penrith Panthers v Norths Devils
3:30pm – NRLW Grand Final Pre-Game Show
3.55pm – NRLW Grand Final, Newcastle Knights v Parramatta Eels
6:30pm – NRL Grand Final Pre-Game Show
7.30pm – NRL Grand Final, Penrith Panthers v Parramatta Eels