Warrington Wolves’ second rower Ben Westwood has confirmed he will retire from the game at the end of the current season.
‘Super’ Bennie Westwood, 38, has been a long-standing servant to the game of Rugby League and Warrington Wolves, stepping out in the primrose and blue for 18 seasons. Following his early career at Wakefield he signed for Warrington, at the age of 20, in June 2002 earning heritage number 1033. He made his debut away to London in Carcassonne, France, crossing for a brace of tries from his position at centre.
He has pulled on the Wire jersey 441 times, including five Challenge Cup finals and three Grand Finals with Warrington. He has scored 128 tries and landing 83 goals.
His International career has seen him represent England on 27 occasions including the 2008 and 2013 World Cups.
Westwood said: “It’s been a difficult decision but one that had to be made. I think the time is right. I’ve achieved what I wanted to in the game and 21 years is a long time to play a contact sport like we do. I’ve loved every single minute of it and have achieved some amazing things with some amazing people. There’s still time to achieve some more this year too but sadly at the end of this one that will be it for me. I am looking forward to relaxing and becoming a fan though and watching from the stands. It’s sad that this time has to come but it was always going to and at 38 years old I haven’t done badly.
“To convert a Yorkshire man to stay out of Yorkshire for 18 years shows the club is doing something right. It’s been fantastic. I’ve played against some great players, in some big teams, making so many friends and so many memories; the last game at Wilderspool stands out, the first game at the HJ with the start of a new era and the 2010 Challenge Cup Final walking out with Tyler. I can’t thank my family enough; the staff, players, coaches, fans and Simon Moran too, who has been fantastic with me over the years, I have so much respect for him.
“The Super Bennie tag still gives me goosebumps after all these years. I think the fans took to me and I took to them. I will miss it. You won’t get rid of me that easy. I am going to be working with the backroom staff and in the office, and coaching the women’s team too. I will still be around, still be involved in the club, which will hopefully make the transition a little bit easier.”