Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TANEWS to 80360, or email
Bradford Bulls: Ben Jeffries glad his secret's out
9:20am Thursday 13th September 2012 in Bulls
Mick Potter made a heartwarming speech about the Bulls’ trio of retiring players at the end-of- season awards night on Tuesday.
Hargreaves has accepted an offer of a job overseas, Sibbit will begin work as a personal trainer and Jeffries is heading down a pit in his native New South Wales.
Jeffries came to his decision before the Bulls entered administration but was reluctant to announce his plans amid fears over the security of his contract.
The 32-year-old stand-off explained: “I have pretty much known since late May that I was going to retire and move back home.
“I had actually planned to announce my retirement pretty much straight away but when the club went into administration in June I felt they would rip my contract straight up.
Ben JeffriesMy wife was happy to stay if I wanted to stay but my mind and my body is ready to finish professional football
“We have been building a house back home so we hadn’t planned to not get paid, therefore I didn’t say a word.
“It was quite hard to keep it secret but the club’s financial problems had no influence whatsoever on my actual decision to retire.
“Nor did homesickness. My wife was happy to stay if I wanted to stay but my mind and my body is ready to finish professional football.
“I would rather go out loving playing than go on too long.”
Jeffries has put his body on the line for the past ten Super League campaigns during two separate spells with both Wakefield and Bradford.
He will now 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.
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.
He added: “When you are young all you think about is yourself but as you get older you get other priorities and my priorities are my wife and two kids.
“We’re all UK citizens and the kids have only known England to be honest. We shipped their toys back not long ago and they couldn’t understand what was going on. All they know is when we leave in early October their toys will be waiting for them back home.
“I’m pretty happy with how I’ve played this season and the Bulls had an option on me for another year but I would probably have knocked it back anyway.
“I will only be able to say in a year’s time if it was the right call but at this stage I’m very comfortable about it.”
Jeffries – the only Australian to play in Super League for ten successive seasons – is now looking forward to his change of career and playing on at the same time.
He said: “My body is good and my mind is good but I think if I went for another year I would be playing for the wrong reasons, more for the money than anything.
“I still love it though, which is why I will still be playing when I go back home.
“I am sure my son will end up playing and I may end up coaching him down the track.
“Newcastle is where I started my career playing in the under-19s at Newcastle Knights so it is something special to me.
“Hopefully I can put something back into the Newcastle community and inspire some kids to go and achieve their dreams.
“I have come straight from full-time school into full-time rugby for the last 13 years. Now I am going to go into a 9 to 5 job and back to a country where I love living and was born but haven’t lived for ten years so it will be a massive change for me. But I’m ready for it.”