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The Swans 'changed my life', says retiring Shaw

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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 19: Rhyce Shaw of the Swans is chaired of after  the 2015 AFL First Semi Final match between the Sydney Swans and the North Melbourne Kangaroos at ANZ Stadium, Sydney, Australia on September 19, 2015. (Photo by Craig Golding/AFL Media)
Rhyce Shaw is chaired from the field after his final AFL match

SYDNEY Swans premiership defender Rhyce Shaw has bowed out of the AFL, declaring his move to the harbour city at the end of 2008 "changed his life".

Shaw, who announced his retirement in August, was chaired from the ANZ Stadium playing field after the Swans' 26-point semi-final loss to North Melbourne on Saturday night.

The 33-year-old said he was forced to turn over a new leaf when he left Collingwood after eight seasons with the club his father Ray and uncle Tony starred for.

"Coming up here changed my life," Shaw told Channel Seven after his 237th and last AFL match.

"It's been a fantastic journey and I'm really sad that it's come to an end. The body's packed it in and it's a good time (to go out)."

After 94 games with Collingwood including the losing 2003 Grand Final, Shaw requested a move north to Sydney at the end of 2008.

He battled with professionalism in his final years at the Pies and was part of the infamous Collingwood 'rat pack' who stepped out of line on occasion.

It was a good move for Shaw who was runner-up in the Swans' 2009 and 2011 best and fairest counts.

He also became a premiership player in 2012.

It was not all smooth sailing for Shaw, who fought back from a LARS knee reconstruction in 2013.

Shaw said he would have plenty of time for reflection in the coming weeks but admitted he was spent immediately after the game.

"It's a bit of a shock. I'm still thinking about the game but just knowing I don't have to go through pre-season training is a pretty special time," Shaw said.

"I'll reflect a bit in the next week or so, getting the hugs and kisses from the boys is good for me tonight.

"This club's been a massive part of my life both on and off the field. It's made me a better person. I'm sad to leave."