Retiring Huddersfield forward Ryan Hinchcliffe has revealed how the opportunity to start his coaching career with former club Melbourne played a significant role in his decision to hang up his boots at the end of this season.
Huddersfield were open to keeping Hinchcliffe in 2019, but the forward has opted to end his three-year stint with the Giants when his contract expires following the end of the current campaign.
And he has revealed that he will be returning to the Storm, where he spent seven seasons between 2009 and 2015, to begin his new chapter as a coach.
“I’ve taken up a coaching role with Melbourne for next season, so I’ll be heading back there and starting out in early-November,” he said.
“I’ve trained full-time for 17 years so this is all I’ve done since I was 17 really. I know I’ve got a lot to learn and I’ll be very green, but I’m excited to get started.
“An opportunity has come up back home that was pretty good for me and I couldn’t ignore. I’ve decided to hang them up and while it was a little bit of a tough decision, I think it’s the right one so I’m content with it.”
Hinchcliffe did admit, however, that the progression the Giants have made since Simon Woolford took charge did make him stop to consider whether he did want to play on for at least one more year.
“There was a fair bit of that, yeah,” he admitted.
“The job that Simon and Mark Andrews have done since they’ve come in have been great and I feel that in the next couple of years, the team can do something. I wanted to be part of that, but when the chance with Melbourne came back up, this was a good transition for me into retirement. I believe the club is in very good hands.
“I’ve learned a fair bit from Simon. He came in when we were in some trouble and we hadn’t been doing too well, but Simon’s approach was a bit different. He wanted to create a system where everyone was accountable and bring a fair bit of intensity to our training. What happens in training translates to what happens on the field and I think the players have realised now that it’s important.”