NRL players like to retire on their own terms and Cronulla Sharks forward Jayson Bukuya has done just that, retiring from the game effective immediately.
Bukuya, who played the bulk of his career with the Sharks, also played for the New Zealand Warriors.
A Fijian international, a premiership winner and with 168 NRL games to his name, Bukuya recalled where it all began.
“I came down to Cronulla in 2006; Theo Burgess brought me down from Brisbane and I first played SG Ball for the Sharks,” Bukuya said.
From there, just two years later, he was playing in first-grade but not in the position many now familiarise him with.
“I do remember my first NRL game, it was against the Bulldogs, round 11 and I played on the wing,” he said.
A culmination of niggling injuries, the pandemic and other factors, Bukuya just knew it was the best decision for him.
“It was just time,” Bukuya said simply.
Sharks coach John Morris praised Bukuya, his selfless nature and his tireless work as a member of the Sharks organisation.
“We wish Jayson all the best and congratulate him on a great career,” Morris said.
“He will always be treasured at the Club for not only being a part of the 2016 Premiership winning team but also for the great person he was.
“He was an outstanding clubman who always gave his best both on and off the field.”