Manly had planned to send off retiring dual premiership-players Brett Stewart, Matt Ballin and Matai before the club's crucial match against Penrith, however, the former Kiwi centre will not be at the ground to be honoured.

Forced into an early retirement due to injury, Matai was contracted to the Sea Eagles for 2017 with his salary, believed to be about $500,000, still counting towards the club's salary cap.

Manly had tried to have Matai's earnings exempt from the cap which was declined by the NRL due to his injury being pre-existing.

The same scenario applied to Brett Stewart who also failed to take the filed this season due to injury.

"Steve and his family recently moved to the north coast but personal commitments won’t allow the former dual premiership winning centre to participate in the farewell lap of honour," Manly said in a statement.

"The Sea Eagles have worked tirelessly to make arrangements for Matai to be at the game, however in his absence a video package of his wonderful career will be played on the big screen during the match."

Matai debuted for the club in 2005 and went on to play in four grand finals, winning two in 2008 and 2011.

Manly boss Scott Penn paid tribute to Matai saying:

“We thank Steve for his tremendous contribution to the Sea Eagles, participating in 4 Grand Finals, winning 2 Premierships and a World Club Challenge. He was an integral part of more than a decade of success for the Club and we were proud to induct Steve as a Life Member last year. We wish him and his family all the best for the future”.