Rugby league icon Ray Warren announces his retirement from sports commentary

Iconic rugby league commentator Ray Warren has announced his retirement, ending a legendary broadcasting career spanning more than half a century.

Affectionately known as “Rabs,” Warren became the voice of rugby league coverage for the Nine Network, announcing 99 of the 122 State of Origin games played since interstate clashes began in 1982.

In addition to his origin calls, Warren called 45 grand finals during his career.

The 78-year-old has also called swimming at three Olympics for Nine, as well as three Melbourne Cups.

Having rolled marbles down a hill in his hometown of Junee as a child, calling it like it was a horse race, Warren began his broadcasting career on 2LF on Young in 1966.


Within three years, Warren was working at Sydney station 2GB before beginning his career as a television rugby league commentator with Channel 10 for weekday Amco Cup matches.

Established as Nine’s premier league commentator during the 1990s, Warren’s lines during several Origin matches became the stuff of legend, including his “that’s not a try, it’s a miracle”, when Queensland’s Mark Coyne scored a match-winning try in the 1994 series opener. In Sydney.

Warren hadn’t commented for Nine since last year’s grand finale, but after weeks of discussions with the network, she said she would leave the job with no regrets.

“I had nothing to prove,” Warren told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“It’s been easy to leave the comment box, but every time I came back I knew I was getting closer to making a fool of myself.

“After I called last year’s grand final between Penrith and Souths, I came away feeling like I’d done a good job. I knew after that game that it was my last one.”

With Warren’s withdrawal confirmed, Nine is expected to turn to Mathew Thompson to lead the call for next week’s Origin opener in Sydney.


Leave a Comment