Nick Kenny.
Nick Kenny. Barry Leddicoat

Big Ken slips off the NRL hook

BRISBANE Broncos gentle giant Nick Kenny will get the chance to plan more fishing trips with his family back home in CQ after retiring from the NRL this week.

The Rockhampton rugby league star has hung up the boots, despite having one more season left on his contract at the Broncos.

After a break-out 2009 season with the Broncos which included selection in the Australian train-on squad at season's end, Kenny's 2010 campaign was cruelled by injuries, with the big front-rower tearing his right calf three times.

But the 29-year-old Norths junior enjoyed a bumper off-season before he injured his left calf again during the pre-season, starting the 2011 season with Broncos feeder-club the Central Comets in the Queensland Cup.

Kenny, who enjoys heading out on the water with dad, Chris, and younger brother, Brendan, on the Capricorn Coast on his trips home, recently told Broncos coach Anthony Griffin of his decision to retire and concentrate on his career as a physiotherapist.

Kenny played 78 NRL games for Brisbane after making his debut against the Cronulla Sharks at Suncorp Stadium on July 3, 2005.

A popular face around the club, Kenny was voted the Broncos' most improved player in 2008 and clubman of the year in 2009.

Kenny, who caught the eye of the Broncos playing universities rugby league in Brisbane, only played nine NRL games last season because of injury.

Griffin praised Kenny for his hard work on the field but paid special tribute to the Rockhampton product's greater work off the field with charities and community organisations.

In 2009, Kenny was the Ken Stephen Medal finalist for the Broncos, a prestigious award that recognises the outstanding contribution an NRL player has made to the community during a season.

He was promoted to the Broncos' leadership group also two years ago, setting an example to players on what is expected of them both from within the club environment and the greater community.

The Bronocs kick off their 2012 NRL campaign against Parramatta in March.

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