The giant Kiwi, known as the Chief, will coach the team next season but admits emotions ran high at the final whistle.
He said, "Ponty has been a huge part of my life. I was only ever supposed to come for a year and I even had a leaving party at the end of the season, but here I am 17 years later."
Chief followed his older brother Shane to Sardis Road from New Zealand side King Country in 1989 and soon became a crowd favourite. A cup winner in 1996, Chief made his Wales debut the same year against South Africa and again in 1997 against England. Only Bob Penburtly has played more games for Ponty.
He added, "I'll miss playing so much, the crowd and wearing that jersey but it's time to step aside and help the youngsters in a different way. I'll never forget my playing days and the great people I've played alongside."