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Andrew Johns retires

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    Andrew Johns retires

    <TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=629>
    <TD colSpan=3>
    <DIV =mxb>
    <DIV =sh>Neck injury forces Johns to quit </DIV></DIV></TD></TR>
    <TD vAlign=top width=416><!- S BO -><!- S IIMA ->
    <TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=203 align=right>
    <DIV =cap>Johns was regarded as the best player in the world in his prime</DIV></DIV></TD></TR></T></TABLE><!- E IIMA -><!- S SF ->Former Australia captain Andrew Johns has been forced to retire from all rugby league on medical advice because of a serious neck injury.

    The scrum-half great, 32, reached his decision after undergoing CAT scans and discussing his future with spinal specialist John Yeo.

    He aggravated a previous neck injury in a collision with team-mates in training with his club Newcastle last Thursday.

    "I was in shock when it happened, just totally numb," he said. <!- E SF ->

    "I'm still in shock. It was really tough telling my family. I made an emotional call to my brother Matthew and it was even tougher talking to the players this afternoon."

    Johns, regarded as possibly the most gifted scrum-half in rugby league history, led the Newcastle Knights to the National Rugby League Premiership title in 1997 and 2001.

    He played 23 State of Origin games for New South Wales and 21 Tests for Australia, including the 1995 World Cup and the 2001 Kangaroos tour.

    Johns also notched up 2,176 points from his 249 first-grade games for Newcastle.

    His premature retirement is also a blow to British fans.

    Johns had agreed to play a one-off match for New Zealand on their centenary tour of Great Britain later this year to honour the contribution of Dally Messenger, the Australian who played for the Kiwis on their first British tour back in 1907. </TD></TR></T></TABLE>

    An awesome player.
    Kiva - Loans That Change Lives


      Someone alert Munster Rugby quickly !


        A proper legend, on and off the pitch..sad way for him to finish up really..

        He and his brother Matt took Brian Carney under their wing when he went to Newcastle last year supposedly...




          Sandwiches, quality pic/username combo!!!

          You have to dare to lose to win, you have to dare to lose to win, you have to dare to lose to win. A winner hates to lose, but the winner is not afraid of losing. That\'s the difference, that\'s the difference.

          - Prof. Willi Railo (sports psychologist)


            you callin me fat? [img]smileys/wink.gif[/img]



              That'd be like the pot calling the kettle fat! [img]smileys/sad.gif[/img]

              No, I was just complimenting you on your taste in moving pictures. Therman murman is a legend.

              The scene where his name is revealed on the report card is the icing on a delicious and hilarious cake!
              You have to dare to lose to win, you have to dare to lose to win, you have to dare to lose to win. A winner hates to lose, but the winner is not afraid of losing. That\'s the difference, that\'s the difference.

              - Prof. Willi Railo (sports psychologist)


                yeah cheers, it was one of the funniest films i think i've ever seen. crude but very funny...



                  A great player. I was hoping to see him one last time in that 'All Golds' commemoration game next autumn.
                  There are only two roads, victory for the working class, freedom, or victory for the fascists which means tyranny. Both combatants know what\'s in store for the loser.

                  Buenaventura Durruti


                    A sad day for all RL fans



                      Queensland Reds coach Eddie Jones and his NSW counterpart Ewen McKenzie are hopeful Andrew Johns will consider a coaching role with the Australian Rugby Union after his shock retirement from rugby league.

                      Johns, who retired this week after being told he risked a catastrophic spinal injury by playing on, has said he would consider coaching halfbacks in both the rugby league and rugby union.

                      But while Johns is yet to make a solid decision about his future, Jones has urged the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) to take on the league star as a consultant.

                      "The Australian Rugby Union put him on a consultancy basis and he could roam around the states and give advice to young backs," Jones suggested.

                      "I think that would be the best way to do it. And it would be a great coup for Australia if they did that."

                      McKenzie agreed: "It would add great value because he is a great successful player".

                      The suggestion comes two years after Johns flirted with the prospect of switching codes before ultimately opting to stay in the NRL.

                      Johns remains contracted to Nine for the rest of the year and could be behind a microphone as soon as the Anzac Test in Brisbane next week.

                      He is also on the books at the Newcastle Knights, who have agreed to pay out his contract for the remaining five months of the season.

                      Johns' manager John Fordham said Johns was not making any immediate decisions but he was likely to help out as a coaching consultant at the club where he played his entire career.



                        Career highlights


                          <H3>Johns admits to drug abuse during career</H3>
                          Rugby league legend Andrew Johns says he took drugs throughout his stellar playing career in a desperate attempt to escape the pressures associated with being one of the game's greatest ever players.

                          In an intense interview on the Nine Network's The Footy Show', Johns revealed that he played the biggest games in his career with the thought of taking drugs racing through his mind and how he would play Russian roulette with drug testers.

                          His drug use came to light after he was arrested in London on Sunday afternoon with an ecstasy tablet in his pocket, spending six hours in a jail cell in an episode Johns described as the scariest of his life.

                          Johns, who retired in April this year after suffering the second serious neck injury of his career in a training mishap, stood by his initial claim that the pill was put in his pocket by a complete stranger as he left The Church nightclub in London.

                          But Johns said he knew what the drug was as he had used it many times before, including throughout a brilliant playing career that had many labelling him the best to ever pull on a boot.

                          "Probably ten years I've taken it on and off," Johns said in an interview with his former NSW coach Phil Gould.

                          "Generally during the off season but there's times when during the season I've run the gauntlet and played Russian roulette and taken it.

                          "I wouldn't say I was in drug dependency, I'd do it occasionally .. it was more in the off season when I'd do it.

                          "I was about 19, 20, 21 when I first taken it (sic).

                          "To be honest I used it to escape all the pressure and stuff.

                          "It's not all black and white, there's other areas too, there's medical reasons that contribute to my reckless behaviour but I don't want to make excuses."

                          Johns said he used drugs "only a couple of times" during the season but admitted the thought of taking drugs was never far from his mind.

                          "Some years I went the whole year without touching it and then in the off-season I'd do it," Johns said.

                          "There was a couple of times during the season I would take it.

                          "There was times when I was playing the biggest games of the season and it would be the back of my mind.

                          "People probably ask, `how do you avoid the drug tests?

                          "Well you play on a Friday night and don't train on a Saturday or Sunday, then generally it's out (of your system) by Monday."

                          Johns also said he had been diagnosed with depression "six or seven" years ago and had been taking medication for the condition for the past five years.

                          "Originally I didn't want to take it, because it stabilised me and took away these incredible highs I got and invariably after the highs I crashed to low where I didn't leave the house for four days," he said.

                          "It (drugs) contributed to the way I behaved.

                          "One minute I could be literally ready to take the world on, that's when I was at my creative best when I was playing but then one day I could turn up to the field and wouldn't want to talk to anybody."

                          Johns said he had been drug tested two or three times a year and admitted there were some times he thought the test could go either way.

                          He was reluctant to name other rugby league players taking drugs, but admitted "it's everywhere you go in nightclubs."

                          He also revealed just how difficult it had been to tell his son, Sam, of his drug use and claimed he hadn't slept or eaten since the story of his arrest broke.

                          "I just can't describe how bad I feel," he said.

                          "Sitting there this morning trying to explain to my seven-year-old son what I'd done in London.

                          "I had to sit and tell my son before he went to school today.

                          "It's incredibly selfish behaviour when you think about it.

                          "My life has been like a fairytale and I've been so lucky I've experienced so much but I think about



                            Hahahaha, he should be banged up for 5 years alone for going to the Church.