Bryan Fletcher pays tribute to retiring Rooster Jake Friend
Sydney Roosters captain Jake Friend is reportedly set to retire immediately as a result of ongoing concussion battles.
A report in the Sydney Morning Herald states that the 31-year-old has begun telling his teammates and close friends that his playing career is over.
The dummy-half played the fourth most games in club history for the Roosters, as well as winning premierships in 2013, 2018 and 2019.
Ex-Rooster Bryan Fletcher spoke about the impact that Friend had on the club.
“What a player, three premierships, such an inspiration to that club,” Fletcher said on SEN 1170’s Drive with Joel and Fletch.
“He doesn’t have to prove anything now, we’re going to see more of these, we’ll see more players retiring.
“He went to go and see some really smart people who are involved around this scene of concussions and they told him, ‘You’re going to cause damage if you keep playing’.
“He doesn’t have to prove anything, he’s been such a good club man.
“I remember him coming down, he was a 17-year-old playing SG ball and I used to call him the ‘Garbo’.
“He used to look like a garbageman, but what a player for the Chooks.
“He won’t be lost to that club, he’ll be doing some kind of welfare role around the club.
“He’s a terrific bloke, and a terrific player.”
SEN hosts Jimmy Smith and Katie Brown also paid tribute to the star number nine.
“He should be a Roosters’ hall of famer, what a clubman,” Brown said.
“When you’ve played the fourth most games, won three premierships and two as co-caption, you’re a club legend,” Smith added.
The Roosters are not expected to receive salary cap relief as compensation for Friend's impending retirement.