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Retiring prop Brett White to bid farewell ''a happy footballer''

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The Gus and Webby Show

The end is near with Round 26 this weekend as the team run over who will be making the top 8 as well as tackling the 'crusher' tackles debate.

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 Canberra Raiders prop Brett White will farewell the game a "happy footballer" in the knowledge egos have been replaced by a team-first culture he backed to rebuild the club. 

White, who will play his 196th and last NRL game against Parramatta on Saturday, admitted retiring after the tumultuous 2013 season may have had an adverse psychological effect on him.

While wins have been rare, he described helping lead Canberra's youthful squad this year as one of his more enjoyable seasons in a stellar career which yielded three Tests for Australia, eight Origins with NSW and four grand finals with Melbourne. 

Brett White reflects on a stellar career ahead of his final match for the Raiders on Saturday.

Brett White reflects on a stellar career ahead of his final match for the Raiders on Saturday. Photo: Graham Tidy

The 32-year-old will return from two weeks out with a groin injury to say goodbye at Canberra Stadium, and will co-captain with Jarrod Croker. 

"Last year with everything that went on, I don't know how it would have been retiring after a year like that, I think it would have had a negative effect on me for years after," he said. 

"I thought about playing next year but I can finish content, it means a lot for me finishing in a good head space. 

"This young group coming through are going to be successful because they're willing to listen and learn, and the egos have been put aside. 

"It's so easy these day for young guys to have a good time and they're entitled to, but they've been smart about it and put the club first.

"That's why it's been such an enjoyable year as a leader of these young guys."

The Raiders team which beat the Tigers last week had an average age of 23, and the squad will likely be even younger next season. 

White's departure, Tom Learoyd-Lahrs' move to the Storm and uncertainty over skipper Terry Campese's future will further drain the squad's experience. 

He insisted there won't be a leadership void and backed Croker, captain for the two matches, and Shaun Fensom to step up to the plate. 

"They're young in age but they're a few years into their career, around that time is when you stand up as a leader," White said. 

"Midway through the year Ricky [Stuart, coach] really started to push those blokes along to learn how to do that. 

"It does take a while to be able to stand up and say things to the group, whether it be good or bad. 

"We're in pretty good hands having those blokes in leadership roles, they're both quality people and that's the most important thing."

White readily acknowledged he was never the most talented footballer, but that made achieving virtually everything in the game more satisfying. 

He wants to be remembered as a clubman, a leader and a player who squeezed every drop out of his ability. 

"I'm looking at Saturday really as a celebration," he said. 

"I come from a small country town [Cooma] and never had a lot of skill coming up through the grades. 

"I was never a kid who stood out, but with determination and work ethic I've been able to forge an NRL career.

"I don't know how to feel about it, obviously there's sadness, there's nerves, there's excitement a new chapter [has arrived]."

Fittingly it was White's club-first mentality which brought him to the Raiders. 

White didn't want to leave Melbourne, which was forced to offload players after the salary cap scandal which saw them stripped of two premierships, but White selflessly took the bullet. 

"To their credit the club said they wouldn't ask anyone to go, but they did say if players could be in a better-off situation [elsewhere] you'd be helping us out," White said. 

"If I can help my club out, I will. That was a big part of that decision, and one of the toughest I've had to make in my career. 

"I've always prided myself on being a club person and never thought I'd leave Melbourne, but it's been a good thing. 

"I'm looking to settle here and hopefully as I go into the next part of my life I've really benefitted from coming here."

White will remain involved at the Raiders in an off-field capacity, with the details of his role yet to be confirmed.

"I said to Ricky if I do retire I want to be a part of it," White said. 

"This young group coming through are going to be successful because they're willing to listen and learn, and the egos have been put aside.

"Where the club was at the end of last year, it was important to build a culture of guys willing to put the club first.

"Everyone talks about the 'big three' of Melbourne, but it's built on culture. Ricky has the right foundations in place, and that's where success comes from. 

"I just want to hang on for the ride."


Age: 32

NRL games: 195 (127 for Melbourne; 68 for Canberra)

Representative honours: Three Tests Australia, Three Tests Ireland, Eight Origin games for NSW. 

First grade debut: Melbourne v Newcastle, round 11 2005

Canberra debut: Cronulla in round one 2011

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PAR 42vs MAN 12 Report Report Stats
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NEW 24vs NZW 14 Report Stats
GCT 18vs WST 19 Report Stats
NQL 4vs SYD 28 Report Stats
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PEN 24vs CBY 18 Report Stats
CRO 20vs CBR 24 Report Stats
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STG 4vs MEL 12 Report Stats
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Round 2
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CBY 32vs PAR 12 Report Stats
CRO 2vs BRI 10 Report Stats
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PEN 40vs GCT 0 Report Stats
MAN 24vs MEL 22 Stats
NQL 14vs NEW 16 Report Stats
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SOU 34vs SYD 26 Stats
CBR 6vs NZW 18 Report Stats
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WST 22vs STG 4 Stats
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Round 3
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MAN 12vs CBY 16 Report Stats
BRI 44vs NQL 22 Report Stats
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NZW 29vs PAR 16 Report Stats
CBR 20vs STG 22 Report Stats
MEL 36vs CRO 18 Report Stats
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SOU 20vs WST 6 Report Stats
GCT 18vs NEW 20 Report Stats
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SYD 20vs PEN 12 Report Stats
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Round 4
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PAR 29vs SOU 16 Report Stats
WST 24vs CBY 25 Report Stats
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NEW 26vs PEN 14 Report Stats
CRO 22vs GCT 24 Report Stats
STG 12vs MAN 4 Report Stats
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NZW 16vs BRI 24 Report Stats
SYD 34vs CBR 6 Report Stats
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NQL 18vs MEL 17 Stats
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Round 5
Fri, 03 AprTimes shown AEDT
CBY 17vs SOU 18 Report Stats
GCT 16vs BRI 26 Report Stats
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MAN 16vs CBR 29 Report Stats
NEW 0vs STG 13 Report Stats
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SYD 12vs CRO 20 Report Stats
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PAR 6vs WST 22 Report Stats
MEL 30vs NZW 14 Report Stats
PEN 10vs NQL 30 Report Stats
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Round 6
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BRI 22vs SYD 18 Report Stats
CRO 22vs NEW 6 Report Stats
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PAR 16vs GCT 38 Report Stats
NZW 32vs WST 22 Report Stats
PEN 22vs MAN 12 Report Stats
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CBR 10vs MEL 14 Report Stats
STG 31vs CBY 6 Report Stats
Mon, 13 AprTimes shown AEST
SOU 12vs NQL 30 Report Stats
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Round 7
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
CBY 28vs MAN 16 Report Stats
STG 12vs BRI 10 Report Stats
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GCT 32vs PEN 6 Report Stats
NQL 28vs NZW 24 Report Stats
MEL 17vs SYD 16 Report Stats
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WST 22vs CBR 30 Report Stats
NEW 22vs PAR 28 Report Stats
Mon, 20 AprTimes shown AEST
CRO 18vs SOU 10 Stats
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Round 8
Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
CBY 14vs WST 38 Stats
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NZW 28vs GCT 32 Report Stats
NEW 24vs NQL 26 Report Stats
SYD 12vs STG 14 Report Stats
MEL 10vs MAN 12 Stats
BRI 28vs PAR 16 Stats
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PEN 26vs CRO 18 Stats
SOU 22vs CBR 30 Stats
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Round 9
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BRI 8vs PEN 5 Report Stats
SYD 36vs WST 4 Stats
Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
CBR 56vs GCT 16 Stats
CRO 16vs NZW 20 Stats
NQL 23vs CBY 16 Stats
Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
MAN 30vs NEW 10 Stats
PAR 10vs MEL 28 Stats
Mon, 11 MayTimes shown AEST
SOU 16vs STG 10 Stats
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Round 10
Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
CBY 10vs SYD 24 Stats
NQL 31vs BRI 20 Stats
Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
PAR 13vs NZW 17 Report Stats
GCT 22vs CRO 23 Report Stats
MEL 16vs SOU 12 Stats
Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
STG 32vs CBR 18 Report Stats
NEW 22vs WST 12 Stats
Mon, 18 MayTimes shown AEST
MAN 10vs PEN 11 Stats
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Round 11
Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
SOU 14vs PAR 12 Report Stats
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WST 0vs NQL 8 Stats
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CBR 34vs CBY 41 Stats
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NEW 18vs BRI 31 Stats
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Round 12
Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
PEN 20vs PAR 26 Stats
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GCT 16vs SOU 22 Report Stats
CBR 12vs BRI 24 Stats
NQL 18vs MAN 14 Report Stats
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NZW 24vs NEW 20 Stats
STG 42vs CRO 6 Stats
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SYD 24vs MEL 2 Report Stats
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Round 13
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BRI 44vs MAN 10 Report Stats
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Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
NEW 22vs CBR 44 Stats
SOU 36vs NZW 4 Stats
PEN 0vs MEL 20 Report Stats
Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
CRO 10vs SYD 4 Stats
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CBY 29vs STG 16 Stats
PAR 30vs NQL 36 Report Stats
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Round 14
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WST 34vs SOU 6 Report Stats
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NZW 21vs SYD 25 Report Stats
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GCT 28vs CBY 14 Stats
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MEL 22vs PAR 26 Report Stats
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Round 15
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MAN 30vs WST 20 Report Stats
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CBR 20vs NQL 21 Report Stats
GCT 14vs NZW 36 Report Stats
CBY 24vs PEN 12 Report Stats
Sun, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
NEW 28vs CRO 30 Report Stats
MEL 12vs BRI 14 Report Stats
Mon, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
STG 14vs SYD 19 Report Stats
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Round 16
Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
BRI 44vs NEW 22 Stats
SOU 20vs MAN 8 Report Stats
Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
NZW 30vs CBR 8 Stats
NQL 18vs CRO 24 Report Stats
PAR 16vs STG 12 Report Stats
Sun, 28 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD 20vs GCT 10 Stats
WST 12vs PEN 35 Stats
Mon, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
CBY 20vs MEL 4 Report Stats
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Round 17
Fri, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
PEN 20vs SOU 6 Report Stats
Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
STG 12vs NQL 18 Report Stats
Sun, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
MAN 28vs CRO 16 Report Stats
Mon, 06 JulTimes shown AEST
WST 16vs PAR 28 Stats
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Round 18
Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
CBR 36vs NEW 22 Stats
Sat, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
PEN 4vs SYD 24 Stats
CBY 8vs BRI 16 Stats
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NZW 28vs MEL 14 Report Stats
CRO 28vs STG 8 Report Stats
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GCT 6vs MAN 38 Stats
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PAR 4vs CBY 28 Report Stats
MEL 52vs PEN 10 Report Stats
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NEW 30vs GCT 2 Report Stats
STG 8vs SOU 24 Report Stats
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SYD 24vs NZW 0 Report Stats
BRI 42vs WST 16 Stats
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Round 20
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BRI 34vs GCT 0 Report Stats
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MEL 22vs STG 4 Stats
SOU 52vs NEW 6 Stats
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PEN 24vs CBR 34 Report Stats
CBY 16vs CRO 18 Report Stats
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NQL 46vs PAR 4 Stats
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Round 21
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WST 34vs MEL 16 Report Stats
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NQL 32vs CBR 24 Stats
MAN 44vs BRI 14 Stats
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STG 46vs NEW 24 Stats
SOU 20vs PEN 16 Report Stats
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GCT 24vs PAR 14 Stats
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Round 22
Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
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MAN 28vs SOU 8 Stats
Sat, 08 AugTimes shown AEST
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CRO 30vs NQL 18 Stats
PAR 10vs PEN 4 Stats
Sun, 09 AugTimes shown AEST
MEL 36vs GCT 14 Report Stats
NEW 22vs SYD 38 Report Stats
Mon, 10 AugTimes shown AEST
CBR 18vs WST 20 Stats
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Round 23
Thu, 13 AugTimes shown AEST
NQL 18vs SOU 31 Stats
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BRI 32vs STG 6 Report Stats
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WST 18vs NEW 24 Stats
PEN 24vs NZW 10 Stats
SYD 28vs PAR 18 Stats
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CBR 24vs MAN 26 Stats
CBY 36vs GCT 14 Report Stats
Mon, 17 AugTimes shown AEST
CRO 2vs MEL 30 Stats
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Round 24
Thu, 20 AugTimes shown AEST
STG 19vs PEN 12 Report Stats
Fri, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
SOU 18vs CBY 32 Report Stats
Sat, 22 AugTimes shown AEST
CRO 40vs WST 18 Report Stats
NZW 16vs NQL 50 Report Stats
SYD 12vs BRI 10 Report Stats
Sun, 23 AugTimes shown AEST
GCT 28vs CBR 12 Stats
MAN 16vs PAR 20 Report Stats
Mon, 24 AugTimes shown AEST
MEL 6vs NEW 20 Report Stats
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Round 25
Thu, 27 AugTimes shown AEST
SOU 12vs BRI 47 Report Stats
Fri, 28 AugTimes shown AEST
MAN 10vs SYD 46 Report Stats
Sat, 29 AugTimes shown AEST
PAR 28vs CRO 35 Stats
NEW 18vs CBY 20 Stats
MEL 14vs NQL 6 Report Stats
Sun, 30 AugTimes shown AEST
WST 50vs NZW 16 Report Stats
GCT 28vs STG 26 Stats
Mon, 31 AugTimes shown AEST
CBR 34vs PEN 18 Stats
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Round 26
Thu, 03 SepTimes shown AEST
BRI 8vs MEL 15 Report Stats
Fri, 04 SepTimes shown AEST
SYD 30vs SOU 0 Report Stats
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PEN 30vs NEW 12 Stats
STG 32vs WST 30 Stats
NQL 42vs GCT 12 Stats
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PAR 24vs CBR 28 Stats
CRO 12vs MAN 14 Stats
CBY 26vs NZW 22 Stats
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BRI 16vs NQL 12 Report Stats
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CRO 28vs SOU 12 Report Stats
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SYD 38vs CBY 12 Report Stats
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NQL 39vs CRO 0 Report Stats
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BRI 31vs SYD 12 Stats
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MEL 12vs NQL 32 Stats
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Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEDT
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Melbourne Storm 24 14 10 0 32
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South Sydney Rabbitohs 24 13 11 0 30
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