NORTH Melbourne defender Sam Wright has officially announced his retirement, with the highly respected Kangaroos stalwart to play his final game in the VFL this weekend.
Wright, 29, has endured a number of injury-plagued years at Arden Street and hasn't represented the senior side since May due to yet another ankle-related injury.
It follows 701 days on the sidelines between 2016 and 2018 having had surgery on both ankles, as well as dealing with a stress reaction in his foot throughout the same period.
Sam Wright in action against Essendon in round six. Picture AFL Photos
He subsequently announced his retirement to the playing group on Tuesday, calling an end to a career that featured 136 AFL games over 11 years with North Melbourne.
Wright joined the team at training, where vision of his game-changing intercept mark during the 2014 elimination final victory over Essendon was played on loop on the scoreboard.
Kangaroos interim coach Rhyce Shaw confirmed the news later in the day, revealing Wright would play his last game in the VFL against Box Hill at Arden Street on Saturday.
"Sam's going to play his last game in the VFL this week," Shaw said.
"He's done everything possible to get himself right and get himself up to play AFL footy again, but his body just hasn't allowed it.
"It's a disappointing end for him, but he's been such a fantastic contributor to us over a number of years.
"The stories that have been told about Sam, like the big finals where he's played some really good footy and stepped up in those big games … he's been a fantastic player for the club.
"Everyone is really proud of what he's been able to achieve."