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Henderson to hang up his boots

07th June 2013 07:01

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Nic Henderson Melbourne Rebels

Nic Henderson: Retires at the end of the season

Melbourne Rebels loosehead prop Nic Henderson has announced that he will retire from professional rugby at the end of the season.

Henderson, who spent the bulk of his career at the Brumbies and a season at the Western Force, will finish his illustrious career on July 12 when the Rebels host the Highlanders at AAMI Park in Melbourne.

The ever humble Henderson paid tribute to all who have inspired him on his decade of greatness.

"Jodie, my wife, has been a huge supporter of my career and my best friend," he said.

"Without her, I know I would not have succeeded as a rugby player.

"In rugby you make friends for life. From my times at the Force and the Brumbies I have many wonderful memories and friendships which I will have until the day I die, especially from 2004 here in Canberra when we won the Super Rugby Final.

"As for the Rebels, as a group of players I have not seen a tighter bunch. I put that down to the roller coaster ride of being a new club.

"I feel part of a family with 34 brothers to lean on, and I know no matter how long it is between seeing the guys I've played with in the first three years we will always feel that affinity towards each other."

Henderson has played 117 Super Rugby matches, which is the second highest of any prop forward in Australian Rugby history.

His career began in Melbourne in 1999, where he was part of the Melbourne Storm wider training group before converting to Rugby Union.

He debuted for the Brumbies in 2004 and, incredibly, featured in every Brumbies game until the end of the 2008 season.

Having won a Super Rugby title with the Brumbies, he then went on to play for the Wallabies, debuting against the Pacific Islanders in 2004, and played in three Tests for his country.

Henderson joined the Rebels from the Western Force in 2010, after achieving Super 70 caps with the Brumbies from 2003 to 2008, and eight whilst at the Force.

Rebels coach, Damien Hill, described Henderson as one of the Rebels' best in 2013, both on and off the rugby paddock.

"Nic has been an integral part of this club from the outset," said Hill.

"Hendo was recruited as much for his contribution off the field as he was for his playing ability and will leave a strong legacy with this young playing group.

"His playing performance this year has been outstanding and I know his announcement will add to the motivation of all involved in the team tonight.

"He has been instrumental within the team dynamics and culture at the Rebels, which is a legacy he will leave for many future Rebels to build on."

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