Jackaroos veteran Karen Murphy retires

Australian trail-blazer Karen Murphy has announced her retirement from international lawn bowls at the age of 44.

Australia's most-capped lawn bowler Karen Murphy has reflected fondly on the professional evolution of the women's game in announcing her international retirement.

The 44-year-old Jackaroos trail-blazer will call time on a stellar career after November's World Bowls Challenge in southern NSW in order to "make some new memories" away from the sport.

Murphy has won a record 646 caps across 23 years since making her Australia debut at the 1997 Asia Pacific Championships in Warilla.

She was also the sport's first professional woman player.

The four-time world champion announced her retirement at Bowls Australia's 2019 Hall of Fame and Awards Night on the Gold Coast on Wednesday.

Last year, she became the first bowler to represent Australia at five Commonwealth Games and has also competed in five World Championships, winning back-to-back gold medals in 2012 and 2016.

"I think it's time," she said.

"I think I need to go and make some new memories away from bowls.

"It's been a great ride. Over 22 years of playing for Australia, I've seen the game change a lot. I think you know when you don't have the drive any more.

"I've had a ball. It's been amazing."

Murphy highlighted the changes she has seen in her lengthy career and praised Bowls Australia's approach to equality.

"It's a great time to be a part of women in sport at the minute," she continued.

"Bowls Australia leads the professionalism of bowls throughout the world. They do a great job and promote the girls as well as the guys. We are one as far as equality goes in bowls.

"One of the things I will really look back on is the change in bowls I've seen since I started, like the wonderful influx of young girls who now play."

Murphy also said she has no immediate plans for her complete retirement and expects to remain involved in bowls.

"I'm going to go where the breeze takes me. I haven't really thought about it. I don't really want to jump into anything yet. I'm not really sure (what I'll do) but I'm sure it will be bowls-related."


AAP