After his time at Leigh Centurions, now the Leigh Leopards, former Castleford Tigers winger Jy Hitchcox was supposed to retire.
But things haven’t gone according to plan since then as he is now playing in the lower league in his homeland of Australia.
Things could have been very different for Hitchcox though, with the speedster supposed to stay at Leigh going into 2023 with a commercial role lined up following his retirment from the playing side of the the sport.
However, a membership mishap saw his visa expire prompting his departure, and Hitchcox revealed to SARL it resulted in a bit of an ordeal for the former Super League player.
“I had a bit of a rough time really,” he admitted to Serious About Rugby League. “After I retired I had a few options really, but some of them came up shorter than I’d liked.
“And then I was going to stay with Leigh and do a sort of a commercial role with them so like with sponsors and Match Day and stuff like that.
“That sort of fell through because I think they sort of underestimated their new membership tiers. So you know they moved to the tiered membership but they didn’t take into account that it was like say if one person’s a large in a t-shirt and that person gets the shirt this.
“So they had to go through each individual sizes on like six and a half, seven thousand season tickets or whatever. So they were just totally strung out with work and my visa ended up expiring and I had an option to renew my visa myself but I didn’t really want to pay £6,000 with no guaranteed job.”
Hitchcox, who scored just short of 100 tries during his time on English shores, revealed that before he knew it he was on a flight home, with even that not going to plan, as he travelled home alone.
“So, yeah, that all came about really quickly and within a week I was on a plane to Australia but that was without my partner and kids, so I’ve not actually seen them since then,” he added.
“It’s been seven months, but I’ve finally sorted everything out and booked their flights. Yeah, so they move to Australia in the end of this month.
“It’s all been a bit crazy really, my visa expired and my family had commitments in the UK still with work and education so they couldn’t just drop everything and come with me.
“The life of a rugby player after a retirement is normally a bit crazy from other things I hear, so I don’t really take it as I have been a victim and missed out, it’s just the way it has gone and I’m hoping once my family get here it was all work out.”