No Ray Warren for State of Origin as ‘Rabs’ retires

The voice of rugby league has called his last game with Ray Warren announcing he has decided to retire despite being just one match shy of 100 State of Origins.

Warren has not commentated at all for Channel 9 this year and he has opted to call it quits once and for all after a career spanning more than half a century.

The 78-year-old is set to be replaced by Mathew Thompson as the play by play caller when Origin kicks off next Wednesday at Accor Stadium.

He said he had nothing left to prove despite the temptation of retuning for what would have been his 100th Origin behind the microphone.

“It’s not been easy leaving the commentary box, but each time I came back I knew I was getting closer to making a making a fool of myself,” Warren told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“After I called last year’s grand final between Penrith and Souths, I walked out feeling like I’d done a good job. I knew after that game it was my last.“I have not called since that night purely to get a feel of life after commentary and to deal with a couple of personal health problems. Naturally after five and half decades I will miss calling immensely but I think it’s time to move on.”

“I really want to thank everybody so much. All my workmates at Channel 9, Channel 10, Radio 2GB and where I got my start at Radio 2LF in Young, who each gave a youngster from Junee a chance to turn his dreams, into reality. Hopefully my story will carry some inspiration into the lives of other young kids from the country,” Warren said.

“To the game, the NRL and the players, for giving me the privilege of calling such a great product. And finally the viewers, for allowing me to share a little time in your living rooms since the early 1970s.”

It’s understood that Warren will continue in some capacity at the network but it’s not sure exactly what the role will be.

What are your favourite Ray Warren memories?

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