SYDNEY - St George Illawarra lock Dean Young will retire from rugby league at the end of the 2012 NRL season.
Young made the announcement on Tuesday that at the age of 28 his body simply wasn't capable of turning out for the Dragons anymore, despite having a year to run on his current contract.
The versatile forward has battled chronic knee injuries throughout his career, and admitted he had not been able to play without pain in his left knee since 2006.
Young also said his modified training schedule had helped him extend his career, which included helping the Dragons to a memorable premiership win in 2010.
Young contemplated retiring at the end of last year, only to be talked out of it by the Dragons before coming to the decision to hang up the boots after their round three victory over Wests Tigers.
"After playing a couple of games I knew with myself that my knee wasn't up to it," Young told reporters on Tuesday.
"I wanted to move on.
"I've been playing in a fair bit of pain for the last six years.
"I think I've had enough now. I'm glad I made the decision. I'm happy with it. And relieved more than anything.
"I'm really looking forward to finishing off the year with the boys."
Dragons chief executive Peter Doust said young was an invaluable member of the squad who would be hard to replace, and revealed the club had been in talks to extend his time at the joint-venture club beyond his current deal.
"We were on the verge of talking about the future," Doust said.
"But he believes he should call an end to his career and his time at the Dragons."