Gallen announces shock NRL retirement
Cronulla captain Paul Gallen has revealed he will "definitely" retire at the end of the 2019 season.
Speaking on KIIS 1065's Kyle and Jackie O Show, the Sharks legend said he'd had enough of the NRL "rollercoaster" and will hang up the boots.
"I'm going to retire from rugby league this year," Gallen said. "Definitely retiring at the end of the year, Kyle, without a doubt.
"I've really enjoyed where I've been and what I've done but I'm ready to retire.
"I've had enough of the rollercoaster to be honest ... the ups and downs. I'm looking forward to the end of the year.
"This is the year, I know it.
"Even this time last year, I was going through the season and thinking the only reason I'm going to retire is because of my age, I'm still performing a role, I'm still doing it, I'm still liking it.
"But I've come this year and I'm still performing, I still like it, I still enjoy going to training but like I said before, just the rollercoaster of turning up each week and having to get so hyped for a game (is wearing thin).
"At my age with four kids ... it's probably time to try something else."
Gallen, 37, has played 327 NRL games for Cronulla since his 2001 debut, as well as 24 games for NSW and 32 Tests for Australia.
The veteran said he enjoys his media work with Channel 9, whether it be commentating or appearing on talk shows, and would like to stay involved in rugby league after he retires.
"I'll stay involved with the game, whether it be at Cronulla or other clubs with a little bit of mentoring roles or assistant coaching roles, so I'll be OK for a little while, for the first few years anyway," Gallen said.
The Sharks have been dogged by controversies in recent years. The supplements scandal ruined reputations and this year the club was penalised for salary cap breaches that have sparked questions about whether Cronulla should be stripped of the maiden NRL premiership it won in 2016.
It hasn't come to that, but earlier this month Gallen flagged his frustration with Sharks administrators and threatened to quit should Cronulla lose its title.
"If we got (our premierships) taken off us I would throw my ring away and I would quit the club immediately. It wouldn't sit well with me. I would quit (rugby league altogether)," Gallen said on Sports Sunday nearly two weeks ago.
"This is what frustrates me with situations like this and situations we've gone through at the club.
"We've been let down by the administration once again. But who cops it? The players? Who is sitting here today answering questions? Me, the captain of the club. Who is now going to play with an inferior team for the next two years? The players, while the administrators get to move on."