Peter Sterling reveals how close he is to NRL training as he calls the final game

Rugby league legend Peter Sterling will end his commentary career after Sunday’s NRL grand final, but his career path could have been very different.

The former Parramatta Eels half-back is considered one of the best players in the game and he has shown his knowledge of the game in the media since his retirement as a player.

Sterling has inevitably come to the attention of two rugby union clubs who have tried to recruit him as a coach and while he doesn’t regret rejecting them, he wonders what could have been.

“There were a few periods there. I actually came very close to taking the job from Illawarra,” Sterling told 2GB’s The Continous Call Team.

“I sort of accepted that and turned it down the next day after thinking about it and realizing it wouldn’t be a good time.

“I also had an offer to coach the Western Reds when they came to Perth. I spent a little time there and it was an attractive proposition in some ways.

“But a lot of opinions from people I respect, and probably more than anyone else, Ron Massey, just advised me, saying, ‘If you want to do this you have to do an apprenticeship. You have to study. You can’t just step into it.

“After listening to his words and the opinions of other people that I also researched, I thought, no, that was not right …

“Look, to be honest it was the best decision I’ve ever made. The media has been fantastic for me. It has kept me close to the game, close to the players without the coaching – which I think I would have liked to do but it would have been devouring.

“I would be divorced. No doubt about it. It would be 12 months a year, it would always be in my head.

“So I’m glad I made this decision, but deep down I have often wondered how this path would have worked.”

Tributes pour in for Sterlo

Although he never coached, Sterling has admirably commented on the game for three decades with fans sad to see his days behind the microphone come to an end.


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