Wagga City warrior Ioramo ‘Rambo’ Lagaali has announced his retirement from rugby midway through the Boiled Lollies’ season.
Persistent knee and ankle issues have forced the 37-year-old to hang up his boots this week.
Last year’s first division Bill Castle Medal winner played for the Brumbies Provinicial team this season but is looking to put his growing family first.
“My injuries were too much for me,” Lagaali said.
“I’m getting too old.”
His partner Courtney is expecting a baby in November and Lagaali wanted to make sure football didn’t get in the way for providing for his family.
His leg issues meant getting out of bed was almost impossible on Sunday and it was starting to affect his ability to work.
“Every game this year I’ve been sore,” Lagaali said.
“I just want to get my body right and maybe in a few years come back, but I think I’m done.
“I’ve been playing for a long time and I think my body is telling me it’s enough.”
Lagaali moved to Wagga City in 2012, going nephews Gordon, Eddie and Jason at the club.
After playing first grade in Sydney with Southern Districts and then in Canberra with Easts, Lagaali cherished with time with City the most.
“It’s like a family club to me,” Lagaali said.
“I’ve played in Sydney and Canberra where it’s all about yourself but coming to Wagga and seeing my family here and the people you play with and the people who run the club, you really appreciate the work they do for all grades.”
An inspiration in the forward pack, his loss will be a huge blow for Wagga City’s hopes for the remainder of the season.
After being relegated to the first division they will tackle CSU at Beres Ellwood Oval on Saturday.
Coach Mick Small was emotional when announcing Lagaali’s retirement on Thursday night and said his absence would have a massive impact on the club.
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