Retiring Penrith Panthers winger David Simmons is ready to take the “unusual” step away from rugby league into a career in theology.
Many rugby league players look towards a future in coaching or the media, but Simmons has decided to follow his heart and faith.
The devout Christian has been completing a Bachelor of Theology at Moore Theological College as a part-time student and could even become the NRL club’s chaplain.
“It is unusual I guess compared to other people who have played rugby league,” Simmons told 7Sport.com.au.
“I have been a Christian since I started playing footy and I have grown as a Christian during that time.
“If I’m here at the club I would love to be involved in that sort of way whether it is official or unofficially.
“It is something I’d like to do and is something I kind of do already.
“A lot of the guys here have strong faith so we are always talking about it.”
Whilst a definitive role is yet to be confirmed, Simmons said he had spoken to Panthers boss Phil Gould about remaining involved with the club.
The 30-year-old’s final game doubles as his 200th NRL appearance this weekend against the Newcastle Knights at Pepper Stadium.
Reminiscing on his career which included seven seasons at boyhood club Cronulla Sharks, Simmons said he has no regrets.
“Cronulla is where I played my junior grades and it was a privilege to play for the club where I used to sit on the hill watching games,” he said.
“Penrith is where I’ve had the most fun playing with these guys out here. I’m just in a better place in the way I approach the game and I have really enjoyed it.
“I am looking forward to the next chapter for Penrith, especially looking at these talented young guys we have coming through.”