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Ty Williams announces NRL retirement
By Laine Clark
13:48 AEST Thu Jul 29 2010

From the outside looking in, former Maroons flyer Ty Williams appeared ready to start a new chapter in his NRL career.

But instead the veteran winger was already planning to close the book on his playing days at the North Queensland Cowboys.

Williams, 29, had finally looked to have got on top of a horror run of leg injuries that had plagued him for the past four years.

However, just as he had appeared to have again entrenched himself at the Cowboys, Williams announced he would quit the NRL at season's end.

The Innisfail-born winger had been on and off the field since his stellar 2005 season when he played all three Origins for Queensland and featured in the Cowboys' only NRL grand final appearance to date.

After missing most of the 2006 season with an Achilles tear, Williams then had to fight back from a knee injury that required radical cartilage graft surgery.

Finally back to full fitness and form following a rollercoaster last four years, he showed flashes of the brilliant Williams of old in their last round win over Newcastle.

He kept his place for the Cowboys' clash against the Panthers at Penrith on Friday night following a glowing appraisal from coach Neil Henry.

But Williams still thought the time was right to announce his imminent NRL retirement this week after revealing he had been mulling over the decision for the past 12 months.

It is believed the qualified butcher wants to continue playing for the Cowboys' feeder club, Queensland Cup outfit Northern Pride, next year.

"I've got a young family to consider, they've been through the good and the bad with me in rugby league," Williams told Townsville reporters.

"I think it's my time to take a step back and put them forward because they've always done that for me.

"That's my main priority, putting them first."

But the married father of one still has a goal to achieve in 2010 despite deciding to draw the curtain on his eight-year first grade career.

He sits on 145 NRL games and with six matches left in 2010 for the lowly Cowboys, Williams is hoping to crack the 150 barrier.

He is just the sixth one-club player to play more than 100 games for the Cowboys and sits second on the club's all-time try scoring list with 79, behind only Matt Bowen (101 from 184 games).

Williams' new-found form had appeared to warrant a change of heart from Henry who had left the door open to re-sign the winger just days ago.

Henry on Tuesday talked up Williams' effort in their last round victory over the Knights.

"He deserves his opportunity (in the top grade)" he said.

"We haven't closed the door (on re-signing him).

"At the moment we haven't offered him another contract but if he continues that form, who knows?"