With the emergence of yet more younger players having a breakthrough season and putting pressure on the ‘old guard’ of Super League for their spot in the team, here’s a look at six players who could retire at the end of 2018.
6. Aaron Heremaia
Aaron Heremaia has had a glittering career both in Super League and the NRL but seeing as he is out of contract at the Widnes Vikings at the end of the season, this could be the last year we are able to see the New-Zealander scooting out of dummy half.
The 35-year old has overcame a lot in his career, including a neck injury which delayed his debut at Hull FC by several months.
Nonetheless, he is proving that age is just a number as he continues to find a space in Denis Betts’ 17 week after week.
However, Heremaia appears more and more to be passing on his knowledge and mentoring the young crop of Vikings talent, with the mightily impressive Danny Walker and Jordan Johnstone waiting in the wings for their chance.
With Walker, Johnstone and Welshman Lloyd White all more than capable of commanding around the ruck for years to come, one may wonder whether now is the right time for ‘Azza’ to hang up his boots.
5. Danny Tickle
Not many players could have sustained a Super League career quite like Danny Tickle.
The rampaging forward has played for six different Super League clubs and currently resides at newly-promoted Hull Kingston Rovers.
Tickle found a semi-permanent home at Widnes after departing Hull FC after seven years. However, the Vikings released their star man after an incident outside a Manchester nightclub in the early hours, back in 2015.
As the years have passed, the 35-year old doesn’t quite have the same running power as he once did.
Many will remember the man who gave 110% to the cause time after time and became a fans favourite wherever he went.
Now, Tickle must be wondering whether he should call it a day, and we could think of no better swansong for him than to help Hull KR preserve their Super League status.
4. Mark Minichello
Mark Minichello established himself as one of the hardest working players of any forward pack long before he arrived in Super League.
Having played for the South Sydney Rabbitohs and Gold Coast Titans for many years, the Italian international joined Hull FC with huge fanfare and rightly so.
However, he now finds himself in a stand-off with FC over a new deal at the KCOM Stadium.
On one side, Minichello will never not be an asset to have for any club. On the other hand, with the likes of Masi Matongo, Brad Fash and Jordan Lane all itching for more game time, Lee Radford must be wondering whether the 36-year old’s departure may be best for both parties.
If Minichello doesn’t have his contract renewed, he may well choose to exit the game altogether.
Read our top three picks here!