For any rugby league player, it is always better to go out on your own terms but as we all know, that is not always the case – and for former NRL prop Ben Cross who is now at Widnes, he falls into that boat.
After a hamstring injury to begin with then a knee injury upon his return, Cross, 34, made the decision to retire due to the persistent injuries, admitting that he was not sure if he had the drive to return to the game from a long-term injury.
“I was really keen to play on in 2014 but, having picked up a hamstring injury in the early part of the season, as luck would have it I then did my knee in my first game back,” Cross said.
“It was then when I thought ‘enough’s enough’. I can come back from a minor injury but if it was anything more serious, I genuinely don’t think that I’ve got the drive left in me to keep coming back from injury after injury.
“I’m really comfortable with the decision I’ve made and it’s good to finally get it out in the open.”
Cross is a former prop in the NRL, having played for Canberra, Melbourne and Newcastle as well as playing for NSW, with the next chapter in his life to involve coaching and a return to Australia.
“I have a genuine desire to be a career coach and, looking further down the track, only a fool would not put in an application for a position that suited them, either in Australia or in England,” he said.
“I’d love nothing more than to return to this country one day in the future and take up a head coach position. If Widnes came knocking, I’d be over here on the next flight, for sure.”