Bradford Bulls: Jeffries to make permanent pit stop in Australia! (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Bradford Bulls: Ben Jeffries to make permanent pit stop in Australia!
Ben Jeffries today announced a remarkable change of career – he is heading back to Australia to take up a job as a miner.
The stand-off has spent the past decade in Super League, including two separate spells with both Wakefield and Bradford, but has now decided to return home.
He will play on a part-time basis in the Newcastle Rugby League competition for the Kurri Kurri Bulldogs, who have secured him a job at the Garth Short Mining company at the Hunter Valley in Newcastle, New South Wales.
The family man, wife Danielle, seven-year-old daughter Mackenzi and four-year-old son Jack will leave Yorkshire in early October, with Jeffries scheduled to begin his new role in mid-November.
The 32-year-old - the only Australian to play in Super League for 10 successive seasons - said: “I’ve spent the last ten years here and that’s quite a long time away from my family back home.
“I’ve got the opportunity to go and play and work pretty much where I come from.
“I’ll be playing for Kurri Kurri Bulldogs, which is a local competition but still pretty much classed as the best in New South Wales below the NRL and the Under-20s.
“Through that I’ve been offered a job in the mines, which allows me to earn the same sort of money I earn now for the rest of my working life if I want to stay in that industry. It’s a no-brainer really.
“I don’t know what my exact role will be just yet but I’ll be working in the mining industry and I know that when I get there I can diversify into certain categories of mining – I can be open-cut or underground.
“Coal mining is a massive industry in Australia and people are queuing up to get into that line of work, so I’m grateful to have landed this job.
“All I’ve known since leaving school is rugby league and this is going to be a massive learning curve.”
Jeffries has enjoyed a fine campaign at Odsal and is one of 17 players out of contract at the end of the season.
He added: “I’ve loved playing for Wakefield and Bradford but starting a 9-5 job and living in a country I’ve not lived in for ten years represents a new challenge for me now.
“I’ve got to find somewhere to live, I’ve got to find a car and schools for the kids.
“I’ve had tremendous support throughout my career from my wife and my family back home, so I’ll be ready for the next chapter of my life.”