Posted: 8 November, 2016
Parra Star Unexpectedly Calls It Quits
Parramatta forward Danny Wicks has retired from the NRL - just months after extending his contract for a further two seasons.
The former St George Illawarra and Newcastle enforcer played 32 games for the Eels, including 23 this year.
He returned to the NRL in 2015 after serving an 18-month prison sentence on drugs charges.
"Danny has made a wonderful contribution to our club in the last two seasons both on and off the field," coach Brad Arthur told News Corp.
"He just went home, got married and decided not to come back. Danny's not driven by money or ego. He's just a genuine all-round good Aussie bloke."
Wicks signed a two-year contract extension with the club at the start of last season, but has decided to return to his hometown of Yamba.
“He’s keen to return home and live in Yamba and enjoy life,” his manager Steve Gillis told The Daily Telegraph.
“The grind of city living didn’t agree with him. He has a wife and two young kids and wants to spend more time with them.
“He came from almost impossible circumstances to play in the world’s toughest competition having not played for four years. He can be very proud of himself.”
After debuting in 2006 and having stints with St George Illawarra and Newcastle, Wicks spent more than three years out of the game after serving 18 months in jail for drug supply charges.
He returned to rugby league via the Eels last year and made great strides in turning his life around.
Frank Pritchard will join as Wicks' replacement, with the former Canterbury forward to begin training with Parramatta on Wednesday after agreeing to a one-year deal, according to the Seven Network.