Players would ultimately like to leave on their own terms but for the Brisbane Broncos Matt Gillett, injury has forced him into retirement.
Injuring his shoulder in late 2019, medical advice from doctors recommended retirement in order to prevent further long-term damage.
With 200 NRL games for the Broncos, 20 appearances for the Maroons and 12 for the Kangaroos, Gillett was a hard-working enforcer for years.
“This has been a huge shock to me and my family, and we have taken time over recent weeks to consider what we should do,” Gillett said.
“I have decided to take the medical advice from the experts and call time on my career.
“I have plenty to be thankful for – I have been part of a great club here at the Broncos for my whole career.
“I’ve played for my state and for my country with some legends of the game.”
Although sad that it ended this way, Gillett retires knowing he played alongside some greats and thanked his teammates.
“While today is really hard, I know that I can look back over my career and be thankful for what I’ve been able to achieve and the friends I have made over the journey,” Gillett continued.
“I’d like to thank my teammates, coaches, family and friends for all their help and support over the years.”
There was nothing but praise from Broncos coach Anthony Seibold.
“Matt has been an outstanding representative for the Broncos, Queensland and Australia and a great ambassador for the game of rugby league,” Seibold said.
“He is humble and hard-working and has reached the top of the game for Australia all the way from his beginnings at Bribie Island.
“His achievements on the field are well known but we are most proud of him for how he conducts himself off the field, and how highly he values his family and friends.”
Gillett will not be lost to the game, though, with the now former back-rower to remain at the club in an off-field capacity.