LONDON - Catalan Dragons' defeat in the Super League elimination play-off at Hull on Friday night signalled the end of the road for the 39-year-old Australian second rower Steve Menzies, whose career spanned no fewer than 21 seasons.
"You've just got to love playing," said Menzies in the aftermath of the Dragons' 14-4 defeat.
"I started when I was seven because I loved the game and it turned into a career.
"Someone said they'd pay me. I'd still be playing at a low level if I didn't get paid. I just love playing and I'm not too serious. I have a bit of a laugh.
"I suppose there's a bit of genetics, being able to take a few knocks and not get too many injuries, and definitely a bit of luck."
Menzies, who won 15 caps for the Kangaroos and played in the 1995 World Cup final at Wembley, admits it will be "strange" coming to terms with life after rugby. He will remain involved in the game, working behind the scenes for his beloved Manly Sea Eagles, and has not ruled out a coaching career some time in the future, but his immediate plans are for a trip around Europe with his wife Suyin.
"Me and the wife are going to do a couple of weeks around Europe while my mum has the kids over in France.