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The Shelf Life of players in the National Rugby League is approximately ten years that is if injury has not plagued you and halted your career earlier. The average Joe Blow works at least 40 years in comparison. So with this fleeting job length, what is in store for the players once they retire from the National Rugby League Competition?
Higher Profile players have the luxury of falling into a position in the Media once their skills on the footy field are finished. Take a look at Paul Vautin and Peter Sterling. Not the best looking guys to get their mugs on a television screen, but they were legends on the field. The Fatty and Sterlo show (oops I meant The Footy Show) screens twice a week and guest stars many former and current players, often better presented and spoken than the hosts. Other media responsibilities they have, along with fellow presenters Paul Harrigan and Phil Gould is commentating the Rugby League games for television. Radio commentating is a media activity that other ex NRL players partake in like Steve Roach. Future Players expected to be involved in the Media: Matthew Johns (an absolute comedian would suit the Footy Show Format and Trent Barrett as the face of rugby league.
The transition to off field position within the National rugby league is a natural progression. The players already have an in depth knowledge of the game and all the skills to pass on to younger players. Players that were involved in captaincy or leadership role on field, suit this position easier. Jason Taylor, former North Sydney captain, is currently coaching Parramatta's Jersey Flegg team after his retirement in 2001. Most of the current First grade NRL coaches have played major positions within a team in the ARL/NRL, including Super Coach Wayne Bennett. Future Retired Players to take on coaching roles: Charismatic Captains Brad Fittler and Andrew Johns.
Some Rugby League players return to their original line of work once retired. When they began their career, they needed another job to supplement their League income before they were put on high paying contracts. Sean Garlick is one former South Sydney player who has returned to the Police Force as his occupation. Also the NSW Fire Service currently employs Brad Mackay, a Saint George junior. Future Retired Player to return to Former Occupation: Ben Ikin as a Pizza Hut Delivery Driver (j/k)
Another popular move is to complete their Rugby League career in the Super League competition in England. The English love and admire our NRL players and offer lots of money for them to make the transition to England. Alan Langer, after his shock retirement, played out what we thought would be the end of his career (until his return to the Brisbane Broncos this year), played for Warrington. Adrian Lam, former Sydney Roosters and Queensland halfback, is currently playing for Wigan. Future Retired Players to end their career in England: Brett Kimmorley (we can only hope).
Whatever players decide to do after their National Rugby League playing career, they will always be written into the history books and remembered for their greatness on field. Or we can always see them pop up on The Footy Show.