Chris Riley says he hasn’t completely retired from rugby league and will weigh up his options for a possible return in 2019.
The former Super League and Rochdale Hornets winger revealed that he may not hang up his boots just yet, despite being away from the playing field for over a year.
Riley made his Warrington debut at the age of just 17 and went on to be the club’s third highest try scorer with 120 tries in 180 appearances.
The 30-year-old was a part of a reshuffle at the Wolves and joined Wakefield Trinity in 2014 before making the move to Rochdale, scoring the match-winning try to gain promotion to the Championship against Toulouse Olympique in 2016.
In an exclusive interview, Riley told loverugbyleague.com: “I’m never gonna say never in terms that I haven’t officially retired.
“In my head I needed a break from the sport. I probably slacked in a few areas as I wasn’t professional as I needed to be and I didn’t look after myself as a professional at the back end of my time at Rochdale.
“My body started to hurt and ache and it took longer to recover and I found it tough balancing life with work and a little family.
“I have a lot of respect to anyone who has done part time rugby alongside their jobs. It’s tough with the hours of commitment required and I had been very lucky to have a long career and be full time but once I went part time I found it tough.”
Riley hinted that he could make a return to the field next season but admitted that he would have to think it through with his family.
He added: “I’m not retiring.
“More than anything I need to start getting myself fit, in the gym, training and eating healthy. Who knows, maybe next season I could come back as I have another year or two left in me.
“It’s not a full decision, I will speak to my wife and family and think about it but at the moment I’m quite content with doing my job and doing my best there, but who knows what the future holds.”
We caught up with Riley for our latest feature called ‘life after league’, which will be available to read on site next week.