Robbie Farah will retire at the end of the season. Picture: Dean Lewins
Robbie Farah will retire at the end of the season. Picture: Dean Lewins

Why Farah reneged on 2018 retirement call

ROBBIEFarah has divided opinions and put noses out of joint for most of his NRL career.

But he says it's the stubbornness and hard-headedness that got him to where he is.

After 17 seasons, over 300 first-grade games including the 2005 premiership, 16 Origins for NSW and eight Tests for Australia and another five for Lebanon, Farah will draw a curtain on his illustrious career at the end of 2019.

Throughout his career, the Wests Tigers great has regularly butted heads with his coaches.

He fell out with Tim Sheens before the coach was sacked, was reportedly behind the push which outed Michael Potter, before himself being forced out of the club by Jason Taylor and over to South Sydney where he spent 18 months.

But he said that was simply a reflection of his passion.

He added without his love for the club and the game, he would have retired five years ago.

Farah, 35, revealed he often had to work around the clock just to get on the field - a fact which contributed to his fear of playing on one year too many.

Farah celebrated his 300th NRL game last weekend.
Farah celebrated his 300th NRL game last weekend.

"There's days where I'll see (Tigers physio) Pete Moussa in the morning and then have to go see my chiro and then my brother (Souths physio Eddie Farah) will bring his physio table to my dad's house to treat me," Farah said.

"And I'm working around the clock to get on the field and that becomes draining. And the anxiety and stress that comes with that.

"And the opportunity to go out on my terms, that hasn't always been the case in my career. I feel like I'm playing good footy and I wouldn't want to play a year too long."

Farah went close to retiring midway through last season when he was languishing in reserve grade at South Sydney and even rang manager Sam Ayoub to tell him he was done.

However, family and friends convinced him to fight on.

Farah almost retired while at the Rabbitohs in 2018. Picture: Dave Hunt
Farah almost retired while at the Rabbitohs in 2018. Picture: Dave Hunt

It was at Redfern that Farah first came across Michael Maguire before the two reconnected upon his return to Concord.

"I definitely got to know the Farah family and understand Robbie as a person and why he's so competitive and that's probably through his dad and his beautiful mum," Maguire said.

"A lot of people won't understand Robbie like I do. The passion he has has always stood out as the thing that's made him the player that he is.

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"It's probably got him in trouble a few times but it's understanding the individual like I have. There's a lot of commitment and there's days where he'll work on his body 24 hours a day to be able to play."

Farah said he was driven to take the Tigers back to the finals for the first time since 2011.

Tigers CEO Justin Pascoe said veteran half Benji Marshall had flagged his intention to play on but they had not commenced negotiations.

News Corp Australia


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