Matt Scott will retire at the end of the season after 16 NRL campaigns with the North Queensland Cowboys.

Cowboys great Scott to retire at season's end

North Queensland Cowboys great Matt Scott will retire at the end of the NRL season.

Scott, 33, has played 263 games for the Cowboys since debuting as a teenager in 2004.

Only Johnathan Thurston (294) and Matthew Bowen (270) have played more games for the Cowboys, but veteran prop Scott will call it quits at season's end.

Scott was the club's 2015 premiership co-captain and also made 22 appearances for both Australia and Queensland.

"I am still extremely passionate about this club and the game of rugby league, but 16 years of NRL has taken its toll on my body and it's time to stop," he said in a statement on Friday.

"Thank you to my family and friends as well as Cowboys staff, players, members, partners and fans for your support. You have all played a part in making my rugby league career a life changing and unbelievable experience.

"Finally, thank you to the North Queensland region and Cowboys for letting me represent you on the rugby league field. I have loved every minute of it."

Cowboys director of football Peter Parr paid tribute to Scott, who was twice North Queensland's player of the year.

"In my opinion Matt Scott ranks as the number one forward ever to don a Cowboys jersey," he said.

"There is absolutely no doubt that at the peak of his powers he was unrivalled as the best front-rower in the world.

"Matt was a major contributor to the most successful era of this club's history. Not many people can say they were one of the most influential people in the best era of their club.

"He's had an amazing career, one he and his family should be extremely proud of and a career the people of North Queensland should be thankful they were able to witness."

The Cowboys, who face the South Sydney Rabbitohs on Saturday, are 11th in the table as they chase a finals spot.

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