Titans forward Ben Ridge, who has had a torrid run with injury since joining the club straight out of school in 2008, has decided to return to his home town Roma and no longer pursue a future in the NRL.
The tough back-rower, one of the most popular and hardest working clubman at the Titans, admits that the mental toll as much as the physical setbacks have weighed him down.
However he says he is excited about returning home next year after wife Cindy has their first child, and starting the next chapter of his life. He is hoping to secure a job with Ergon Energy
The 25-year-old will be sidelined for the rest of the season because of a medial ligament problem after starting the season late because of a pectoral injury suffered in the first trial match back in February. He had surgery to “clean out” both knees last week.
He had eight seasons at the club after starting in the under-20s in 2008, signed from St Brendan’s College at Yeppoon. He was the NYC captain in his second season and made his NRL debut against the Dragons in round 20, 2010.
“Since I started here I have had a bad run with injury and eventually it takes a toll on you,” Ridge said.
“I probably couldn’t have had a worst year coming off contract and the pressure of that, and in the end I decided it was time to do something else.
“Once the decision was made it felt like a weight off my shoulders and now I’m excited about what lies ahead.”