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Corey Parker is just one of many stars of the NRL to retire at the end of the season.

With only two rounds remaining in the regular season there are a number of players in the NRL who have only a few weeks left in their rugby league careers and who are now wondering what life will have in store.

It's a situation I was in myself 12 months ago and while you undoubtedly miss being around the boys every day and simply playing the game that you love every weekend, there is an excitement to starting that next chapter.

I apologise if there are players who I miss but the likes of Corey Parker, Michael Ennis, Jamie Lyon, Ben Creagh, Sam Perrett, Dene Halatau, Jeremy Smith and Nathan Friend have all been wonderful servants of our game and achieved the highest honours we have to offer.

I'd also like to make special mention of James McManus from Newcastle and Ben Henry from the Warriors.

Both James and Ben have had to call time on their careers due to injury much earlier than they would have envisioned when they were starting out and I hope that their respective clubs are supportive in transitioning them to the next phase of their lives.

I saw one of my good mates in Jharal Yow Yeh go through the same thing and when we play a game that is so brutal on your body and your mind that's something that unfortunately comes with the territory.

Jharal's been very lucky that he has a great club that loves and respects him and there's no doubt that my association with the Broncos and the support of my great family and friends has made my transition to life after football a whole lot easier.

I'm very passionate about the work I get to do with Indigenous kids through the Beyond the Broncos program, in my role as an NRL ambassador I get to travel to regional areas and meet some amazing people, hosting League Nation Live each week has been a great experience and I still get to hang around mates such as Jharal and Scotty Prince and have a bit of banter.

To be honest – and my wife will back me up on this – I've probably been busier this year than I would have expected but it was a conscious decision on my part to make myself as busy as possible in my first year out of the game.

I spoke to my wife and my manager in George Mimis about the fact that I wanted my first couple of years to be as busy as possible because you do hear stories of former athletes who seem to struggle with that transition.

You don't get that rush from competing at the highest level and you look for ways to replace it but the best thing I think you can do is to find something you are passionate about and pour all your energies into that.

I tell the kids that I visit in schools every day to find something that they love because you've got to wake up and live it every day. Playing rugby league, if we didn't love what we did, you'd find it pretty tough to wake up every morning and going to training or going off to play one of the toughest games in the world.

That's what their transition is going to be, they've got to find something that they love and enjoy waking up and doing because that's their future.

There are a few players who could finish their careers with a premiership this season and for me, losing last year's grand final has been the toughest thing to get over these past 12 months.

Just knowing that I'll never get the chance to re-write that or to make amends the next year, that's been the hardest thing, knowing I'll never get that chance to fix that.

The boys who are stepping aside won't miss not having to go to training and things like that but when the big games roll around when there's a full house in and the adrenaline kicks in, that's when the guys might get itchy feet again.

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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