Liz Patu confirms retirement from Wallaroos

Wed, Dec 14, 2022, 11:57 PM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
The Wallaroos have kickstarted their 'Road to New Zealand' with a 36-19 victory over Fijiana.

Wallaroos icon Liz Patu has confirmed her International retirement, effective immediately.

Patu is the most capped Wallaroos in history with 33 games, breaking the record earlier in the year against Japan in May.

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It comes just 24 hours after team-mate Iliseva Batibasaga confirmed her Wallaroos retirement, with Patu also set to play Super W next year with the Queensland Reds.

“My decision to retire has come from a variety of factors, but ultimately, I’d like to take time for myself and my mental health,” Patu said in a statement.

“I’m so grateful to the friends, family and coaches that have supported me throughout my rugby career.

“It means the world to me, as a player of Pacific Islander descent, to be able to finish my Wallaroos career as the most capped player and honour those who have gone before me.

“I hope to continue my involvement with rugby through pursuing coaching opportunities and playing Super W.”

Patu has had a rollercoaster journey since making her debut for Australia in 2014, most recently helping Australia to the quarter-finals at October's Rugby World Cup.

Originally making her mark as a number eight for Queensland, Patu has stepped up as an influential leader in the Wallaroos' forward pack.

The Wests Bulldogs product captained the side in 2018, however, was suspended for six weeks for a biting incident during Super W.

Since then, Patu's determination has established her as one of key pillars of the rebuilding Wallaroos side, recognised with the all-time caps record.

“I consider it a great privilege to have been present for both Liz’s first and last test matches,” Wallaroos coach Jay Tregonning notes. 

“Back in 2013, Liz commanded the field as a dominant number eight for Queensland at the national championships, and as part of my role as a forwards coach, we discussed a potential positional change to the front row. 

“Her dedication to improvement and great desire to be a Wallaroo earned her a debut in 2014.

“Now, leaving the program as the most capped Wallaroo of all time, Liz’s accomplishments are testament to her work ethic and leadership skills. 

“It is my hope that Liz continues to contribute to the development of Queensland’s rugby programs and passes on her experience to the up-and-coming rugby stars of the future.”

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