Frank Pritchard called an end to his 15-year professional rugby league career despite having an NRL contract on the table from Parramatta.
Fan favourite Frank Pritchard has brought down the curtain on his 15-year NRL career despite having a contract on the table from Parramatta for season 2018.
After a 280-game career which included stints with Penrith, Canterbury, English Super League club Hull FC and one year with the Eels, the 34-year-old has elected to hang up his boots.
It's understood he informed the Eels that he felt the time was right to step down and they were better off offering a place in their squad to a younger player.
Eels coach Brad Arthur had told Pritchard he wanted him in his side for this year and the club tabled him an offer several months ago.
Pritchard was absent from Eels training on the first day back after the Christmas break on Wednesday, fuelling suggestions he was set to retire.
He was allowed to train with the squad during the pre-season while he weighed up his decision and it's believed his desire to spend more time with his family was a decisive factor.
He managed just eight games in 2017 because of a foot injury which required surgery but returned at the back end of the year and played for Samoa during the World Cup.
His last match was Samoa's 46-0 loss to Australia in Darwin in the group stage.
At the height of his powers, Pritchard, nicknamed Frank the Tank, was considered one of the most damaging back-rowers in the competition.
He was a part of the Bulldogs grand final sides in 2012 and 2014 played 26 Tests for New Zealand and eight for Samoa.