END OF THE LINE: Jharal Yow Yeh at a recent Brisbane Broncos pre-season training session.
END OF THE LINE: Jharal Yow Yeh at a recent Brisbane Broncos pre-season training session. GETTY IMAGES

Injury forces Jharal Yow Yeh to call it a day at Broncos

IT speaks volumes for Jharal Yow Yeh's character that his heartbreaking decision to end one of the bravest comeback battles in rugby league was based more around not letting his club and teammates down, than his own needs.

Those fears were totally unfounded, however, with teammates, coaching staff and the club's management showing their appreciation for his courage and determination by roundly applauding him into yesterday's emotional press conference in the Captain's room of the Broncos Leagues Club at Red Hill.

It was there that the 24-year-old winger, who endured 10 operations and numerous skin grafts on an ankle as badly shattered in Perth in 2012 as his brilliant young career, officially broke the news of his retirement to the rugby league world which had closely followed his harrowing two-year journey.

"It was a big decision to make but it's been coming for a long time. I've been struggling a little bit trying to get my head around playing rugby league again," said Yow Yeh, who spoke candidly to his family, his girlfriend and to Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin last week about retiring.

"I'm happy this (weight) is off my back now and that the pressure is not there any more.

"I feel comfortable and thankful to all those people who have stuck by me."

Yow Yeh knew deep down, along with many others, it would be a tough, if not impossible road back, and that his mangled ankle would restrict him doing the special things that saw him represent Australia in 2011.

But as an elite athlete, he wanted to give his comeback attempt the best shot so there would be no regrets.

"I gave it my all, that's all I could really do. I knew in my heart I wasn't going to go any further," he said.

"I knew after everything I'd done, I knew I wasn't going to cut it.

"To go on the field, I couldn't have done that to all my teammates, go out there and let my teammates down."

Griffin said while it was a very tough day for Brisbane and especially Yow Yeh, it was a day to celebrate the winger's achievements.

"The good thing for Jharal is he's made the decision himself," Griffin said.

"Had it been up to doctors and physios he would have been finished before this, but he defied all those and got himself to this point.

"Even though it's a tough day he is at peace with himself now.

"He has inspired everyone at this club and he will continue to do that in whatever role he plays around this club."

Asked to name his highlights, a humble Yow Yeh, who scored a try on debut for Brisbane, Queensland and Australia, nominated playing for his state and country as special.

"I played in (Darren) Lockyer's last few games but I suppose the most important thing for me was putting on a Broncos jersey week in and week out."

JHARAL YOW YEH

Age 24

Born: Brisbane

Debut for Broncos: 2009 aged 19.

NRL career Brisbane 2009-2014: 60 games, 33 tries

Rep career: Australia 3 games, Queensland 2, Indigenous All-Stars 3.


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