MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 30: Alex Rance of the Tigers celebrates during the 2017 Toyota AFL Grand Final match between the Adelaide Crows and the Richmond Tigers at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 30, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Tigers star Alex Rance has retired from the AFL, effective immediately.

After considering his future in recent months, the 30-year old decided to step away from the game to focus on his family and faith despite having two years to run on his contract.

He informed his teammates of his decision this morning.

“I am someone who will always give their best to what they commit to, and I’m proud of the time, energy and dedication that I’ve put towards my football career,” Rance told richmondfc.com.au.

“Right now, I feel I have served my purpose in terms of my on-field performance and cultural impact, and I’m so grateful to the football club for their support and care in allowing me to do that in my own unique way.

“Now I feel is the right time for me to put the same time and energy into other areas of my life that need it, and to prioritise the more important things to me, such as my spiritual growth, my family and friends.”

The 2017 premiership defender played 200 AFL games, claiming five All Australians and the Jack Dyer Medal in 2015.

He missed almost the entire 2019 season after rupturing his ACL in round one. It is understood that the injury did not factor into his decision.

Richmond CEO Brendon Gale thanked Rance for his contributions to the club.

“Alex, his manager and the Club have been in regular communication about Alex’s future, and while we will miss him dearly at our football club, we understand and respect his need to step away from football to focus on his personal life,” Gale said.

“He leaves this club a highly-decorated premiership player and it has been a privilege for all us to watch him play. He is clearly one of the greatest players to have pulled on the Richmond jumper.”

“Alex has been the ultimate competitor, an incredible character of the Club, and a fine example of a Richmond Man.

“Although he’s stepping away from playing football, he’ll always be part of Richmond and we wish him and his family all the best for the future.”