GARETH ELLIS admits he has not yet got to grips with retirement – but is enjoying one particular aspect of it.
The former Great Britain star, 36, called it a day after Hull FC’s Super League semi-final defeat at former club Leeds last month.
He will take over from Motu Tony as Hull’s football manager ahead of next season.
For now, though, Ellis conceded: “I’m probably doing what I’d be doing anyway except this time I can let down my hair – if I had any – a little more.
“You always have that little thought at the back of your mind that the further you go down the hill now – eating, drinking or lack of training – the harder it literally will be to get back up the hill when it comes to pre-season.
“But I don’t have that worry any more. I’m quite relaxed.
“I don’t know what it will be like when the boys are back in for training. I’ll either be very disappointed I’m not out there with them – or watching through a window with the heating on glad I’m not.”
Ellis, who spent four years with NRL club Wests Tigers before joining Hull at the end of 2012, is in Australia ahead of the World Cup. “I’m out here for four weeks and I’ve been looking forward to it,” he said. “When I left Wests, I thought we’d be back visiting soon enough, but life happens – we have kids, they’ve started school, it’s hard to take them out of school and we’ve not been back so this is actually the first time since.
“It’s great, though, now, catching up with a few people and getting ready to see some of the England games.”
On his next role, Ellis added: “I’ve met Motu a couple of times and he’s given me the lowdown on what he’s been doing, the detail of what he does and all the paperwork I’ll have to get used to.
“There’s a lot to take in, but, hopefully, over time and with experience I’ll kick on and start to mould it in my own way.”
Australia’s NRL Grand Final referee Matt Cecchin will control Friday’s match between Australia and England in Melbourne.
Super League’s Grand Final referee James Child is in charge of New Zealand v Samoa in Auckland on Saturday while Challenge Cup final referee Phil Bentham has been appointed for Scotland v Tonga in Cairns.