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Warriors star Chanel Harris-Tavita stuns the NRL by announcing retirement at 23 for shock new career

Warriors star Chanel Harris-Tavita shocks the NRL by announcing that she is leaving the game at just 23 years old, and wants to enter a VERY unusual line of work for a footballer.

  • New Zealand midfielder to complete current NRL season before retiring
  • He will also compete in the Rugby League World Cup for New Zealand or Samoa.
  • Harris-Tavita said she has no mental health issues, she just wants a new career.
  • The young midfielder has played just 44 NRL games and was a New Zealand star on the rise.

New Zealand Warriors midfielder Chanel Harris-Tavita has announced her shock retirement from the NRL aged just 23 to pursue a career in writing.

The rising young running back has played 44 games in the NRL, but admitted his heart was no longer in it.

He will finish the current season and represent either New Zealand or Samoa in the Rugby League World Cup before trading his boots and Steeden for pencil and paper.

Harris-Tavita struggled with the decision and felt guilty about the opportunity she had been given, but she had to follow her heart and pursue the career she wanted.

Harris-Tavita struggled with the decision and felt guilty about the opportunity she had been given, but she had to follow her heart and pursue the career she wanted.

“I’ve felt guilty when I think about the decision I’m making,” Harris-Tavita told the AAP.

There are a lot of kids out there who would love to be in my position. Taking a step back from the game can feel like I’m taking it all for granted.

“I just think it’s the best decision for me. Every time I told a family member or friend, it was like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders.

“I was afraid to say it out loud, let alone tell my family, friends and teammates. Most of the people I told were surprised, but they were all very supportive, for which I am grateful.

Harris-Tavita to complete current NRL season before retiring

Harris-Tavita to complete current NRL season before retiring

‘I am extremely grateful for the experiences I have had and the people I have worked with.

Soon it will be time for a change of scenery.

Harris-Tavita said there were no mental health issues driving the decision, she just wanted to follow her heart and pursue her dream career.

He plans to travel and write and hopefully build a career along the way.

Harris-Tavita has played 44 NRL games but admitted his heart wasn't in it anymore

Harris-Tavita has played 44 NRL games but admitted his heart wasn’t in it anymore

There have been many NRL players who have been forced into early retirement recently due to injury.

The likes of former Dally M Rookie of the Year Taniela Tuiaki, Maroons and Kangaroos manager Jharal Yow Yeh, and Manly enforcer Anthony Watmough are among the standouts.

There have also been a handful of players cut down in their prime. Alex McKinnon is the obvious name on this list, after being paralyzed in an inning gone wrong in 2014, while Adam Docker is another who was forced out of the game by injury at just 24 years old.

Covid also forced a large number of players out of the game as clubs were forced to cut their squads to make ends meet. These weren’t just fringe players or guys nearing retirement.

Former Newcastle Knights player Alex McKinnon was paralyzed for a tackle in 2014

Former Newcastle Knights player Alex McKinnon was paralyzed for a tackle in 2014

Sydney Roosters enforcer Victor Radley returned to the tools, while Brisbane Broncos forward Thomas Flegler became a banana grower while play was on hiatus. Fortunately for the game, both are now regulars for their respective NRL teams.

While the Harris-Tavita decision may seem strange, it is becoming more and more common for NRL players to gravitate towards careers outside of traditional media, trades and coaching positions.

Rugby League Players Association president Clint Newton told the daily telegraph last year that players were more aware of preparing for life outside of football and branching out in the modern age.

Former Broncos star Jharal Yow Yeh (left) retired at the age of 25 in 2014 after failing to recover from a serious leg injury sustained two years earlier.

Former Broncos star Jharal Yow Yeh (left) retired at the age of 25 in 2014 after failing to recover from a serious leg injury sustained two years earlier.

‘When I first entered first grade in 2001, a lot of the older boys were flying through the seat of their pants. There was no plan of what I’m going to do next, and it was really isolated and lonely,” he said.

Many of the boys were involved in trades or dabbled in pubs. There were some that went into media or something, but there weren’t a lot of those jobs. Then there is training or working in a club.’

“We now have more than 100 players with college degrees, a dozen with master’s degrees and another 100 with commercial programs.”

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