By NSW Rugby Media

NSW Rugby and the NSW Waratahs have recognised the contribution of four players to the success of the State team.

Playing their last game for New South Wales on Saturday night were Paddy Ryan and Taqele Naiyaravoro, while the team also farewelled squad members Andrew Kellaway and Irae Simone.

Tighthead prop Paddy Ryan played his last game for New South Wales in the finals series match against the Lions at Ellis Park in Johannesburg.

29-year-old Ryan played his 106th Super Rugby game and 109th match for NSW to end a stellar Super Rugby career that started in 2011 and include a Championship winning title in 2014.

Ryan has been a stalwart in the NSW Rugby community since making his debut coming off the bench against the Chiefs. Since then, he joined the special centurions club of players who have played 100 games or more for the State.

His performances were also recognised at national level and he ended up playing three international matches for the Wallabies.

Ryan’s contribution to rugby in the State extends beyond the rugby field and he has done tireless work with NSW Rugby’s charity partner, Batyr, a ‘for purpose’ preventative mental health organisation, created and driven by young people, for young people.

NSW Rugby and NSW Waratahs CEO Andrew Hore said: “In Paddy Ryan we have a player who has been part of our set up for over a century of games, and that speaks volumes for his endurance and commitment to the State. Paddy is very passionate about the game but also how he can make a difference off the rugby pitch as well, and that’s why he has been an important mentor and ambassador for Batyr.”

Also farewelled is Taqele Naiyaravoro, the left winger who has set Super Rugby alight this year with his record-breaking try scoring feat.

The humble Fijian-born wrecking ball first put on the NSW Waratahs jumper in 2014 when he replaced Adam Ashley-Cooper in the match against the Lions of South Africa. Since then he has played 52 matches for NSW Rugby and 50 Super Rugby games for the State team, including Saturday night’s finals series encounter in Johannesburg.

“There’s not a helluva lot more I can say about Big T. He has rewritten his own rugby story of grit, determination and a drive to succeed, and we have seen that this year. His journey is well documented and I salute him for the hard yakka he has done to farewell New South Wales on a record-breaking note,” Hore said.

Also departing NSW are Andrew Kellaway and Irae Simone. Kellaway joined the NSW Waratahs in 2016 and made his debut against the Rebels that year. He has gone on to represent the State in 22 games while Simone has been part of the NSW Waratahs set up since 2017 and played 10 games.

“You never want to farewell any player because they all have, in their own way, contributed to the performance of team. In spite of setbacks, either through injury or form, Andrew and Irae have always been team players, supporting their mates on the training paddock or delivering for their club sides in Shute Shield. We wish them the very best as they embark on the next chapter of their careers,” Hore said.






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