Gillett one of the best says Carne
RUGBY LEAGUE: Queensland Maroons legend Willie Carne has paid tribute to retiring Broncos workhorse Matt Gillett, labelling him the "perfect footballer".
Gillett, a Bribie Island and Sunshine Coast talent, called time on his decorated 10-year long rugby league career yesterday.
The 31-year-old second-rower hangs his boots up having notched 200 NRL caps for the Brisbane Broncos, 20 caps for Queensland and 12 for Australia.
A severe shoulder injury suffered late this season resulted in the father-of-two being advised by medical experts to retire from contact sport.
Fellow Coaster and former Bronco, Maroon and Australian representative Carne said Gillett was a special talent.
"Those sort of footballers only come along every once in a while and I rate him as one of the best," Carne said.
"He was a worker and had skill and I think what impressed Wayne (Bennett) the most was that every time he got on the paddock he gave it everything he had.
"He was the perfect footballer."
While being forced out via injury was a sad way to end a career, Carne said Gillett had plenty to look back on and be proud of.
Among his accolades, the former Bribie Island Warrigal was crowned Dally M Second Rower Of The Year in 2016 and 2017, and Dally M Rookie Of The Year in 2010 after making his debut for the Broncos in Round 1 of that year against the North Queensland Cowboys.
"I think injury gets to most of us (in the end) and he's had a good run," Carne said.
"He's done everything anyone could ever ask for and played in the State of Origin Series during all those wins (five)."
While his time on the field was over, Carne believed Gillett's impact on the game would be felt for many years to come.
"It's a loss but there's kids out there coming through that would have idolised him and probably set their game up to be like his so the future and game of rugby league is in good hands," he said.