Former Brisbane Broncos and St George Illawarra Dragons dummy-half Andrew McCullough has confirmed he'll be taking on roles with both clubs following the announcement of his retirement from the NRL this week.
McCullough has played over 300 NRL games over 15 years, but has made the decision to quit playing – a call he made following his final game of the 2022 season.
“My gut feeling was that (the Round 25 game against Brisbane) was going to be my last game, but I wasn't fully there yet,” McCullough told the Daily Telegraph.
“I came up with the decision after that. It just felt right.
“It was my decision. I wasn't forced to retire. I had 12 months left on my contract and if I wanted to play, I could have. It's funny that my last game was against the Broncos.
Now he will take on a development role with the Broncos as he returns to Brisbane – but he's also reportedly set to work for the Dragons in a corporate role.
“I'm not directly involved with the first grade team so there'll be no conflict of interest,” McCullough advised the Daily Telegraph.
“They'll both keep me busy, it'll be a good transition for me.”
Though McCullough was able to make the decision about retirement without being forced, he admits that his body has experienced some consequences to being an 80-minute workhorse every week.
“I've got bad arthritis in my left shoulder,” he said.
“My fingers are gone. I'm proud of how I bounced back from my ankle injury last year. A lot of people don't understand that when you're rehabbing there's no off-season.
Though he believes he's leaving the Dragons in a good position for the future, McCullough admitted he had no idea who would start in the No.9 for the Red V next season. Moses Mbye and Jayden Sullivan both filled in for McCullough at times this year, but McCullough has questions over Sullivan's suitability.
“I'm not sure who will start there,” McCullough said.
“It's going to be a tricky one. (Sullivan) is not there yet defensively to start the game, but he might get an opportunity off the bench.
“Defensively they need someone strong to start the game.”