Injury forces Hannant to retire

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Former Queensland and Australia prop Ben Hannant has announced his retirement from rugby league at the age of 31.

Part of the North Queensland Cowboys side that won the 2015 NRL Grand Final, Hannant spent much of his career with Brisbane Broncos - winning the 2006 premiership - and also represented Sydney Roosters and Canterbury Bulldogs.

He confirmed his decision to retire on Wednesday, after close-season surgery showed a knee problem to be worse than first feared.

Hannant posted a collage of images from his playing career on his official Instagram page, accompanied by a message of thanks.

"What an amazing journey," he wrote. "I have been so blessed to play alongside so many great players, coaches, staff, family and fans. Unfortunately it can't last forever.

"I have had amazing opportunities to play at 4 outstanding clubs and be a part of there [sic] culture."

In addition to earning six caps for Australia, Hannant played in 12 State of Origin matches for Queensland and was the Dally M Prop of the Year in 2009.

He was quoted by the Courier Mail as saying: "I was hoping to play on next year, but when the doctor explained everything, I have to put my family first.

"I wouldn't have been able to play every week. The Cowboys will at least have some money now to buy someone to replace me. It's not fair on the team if I just play next year and take the money."