Ryan Hoffman announces retirement
It took some time off to give Ryan Hoffman perspective about retirement.
Storm coach Craig Bellamy decided to rest the veteran second-rower for their round 12 clash against the Cowboys.
It was the break he needed.
"At the time, I didn't think I need the rest," Hoffman said.
"But when I stopped and thought, 'I [do] need a rest here'. And talking to Craig, it had been at the back of my mind. That made me realise that this is a sign you are at the end now, this is going to be the last year.
"I haven't felt like I was falling out of love with the game or my body is giving up on me. I just feel the time is right."
Hoffman made his Telstra Premiership debut in 2003 and after a 16-year career that has included 353 career games for the Storm, Wigan Warriors and New Zealand Warriors, six Tests for Australia and 14 NSW appearances, he's grateful to have achieved everything in the game.
"What made the decision easier is I've ticked every box in rugby league, which I wanted to do," he said.
"I just feel the opportunity to make the decision on my terms is something I'm thankful for."
When asked about key moments in his career, he named premierships and how the team's recovery from the club's 2010 salary cap scandal shaped his career.
"Winning the grand final in '07 and '09 were big moments," he said.
"And certainly not a highlight but a big moment was 2010 – because it proved what this club was really about, what these players were really about, and what Craig was really about. That was a massive moment that certainly shaped a lot of things in my career and this club.
"Certainly coming back after what happened in 2010, coming back in 2011 and winning the premiership in 2012 were certainly special moments."
His long-time Storm coach paid tribute to his character and selfless nature.
"He's probably the best clubman I've ever coached," Bellamy said.
"I actually played with his dad in Canberra. And Jay was exactly the same – one hell of a clubman. And you can tell why the person he is. You won't meet better people than Jay and Jenny Hoffman.
"When he came to the club, it was all about the team and about the club, not about him, and it always has been.
"Sometimes when you get guys who are really team-orientated, they can be less competitive than other players. It's a fine balance at times. The one thing with Hoff is he's always had that competitiveness as well."
Hoffman put in a couple of plays against the Roosters last week, including a charge-down and regather. Did that sway his decision to step down at season's end?
"They're just moments in rugby league you just do," he replied.
"It doesn't matter if you're 34 or 24, you still try and do those moments. Just don't ask me to do it again."