Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
Photo by Leeds Rhinos
Robert Lui has recently announced that season 2021 would be the last in his lengthy Rugby League career that has spanned over a decade.
The 31-year-old has played over 200 professional games for the Wests Tigers, North Queensland Cowboys, Salford City Red Devils across the NRL and Super League.
Lui was a part of the Wests Tigers Toyota Cup side that lost to the Melbourne Storm in the 2009 Grand Final, before moving on to become a key part of the club’s NRL finals push in 2010 and 2011.
In 2012, Lui moved back to his hometown of Townsville and signed with the Cowboys until the end of 2013; however, off-field and injury issues resulted in him only playing in one game for the club that season, although he would go on to become a first grade regular for the Cowboys in 2013 and 2014, before primarily playing for the Townsville Blackhawks in 2015.
A move to Salford and Super League occurred for Lui in 2016, going out on loan to the Leeds Rhinos in 2019 and moving to the club on a permanent deal in 2020, winning his first and only Challenge Cup that same year.
When looking back on his career, Lui has acknowledged just how important Rugby League and a move to Super League was in his life to Sky Sports.
“Super League probably saved my career,” said Lui.
“I came down here, had a few dramas back home, but Super League has made me find my love for rugby league again.
“That’s why I’ve stayed here; I’ve enjoyed it, it’s made me a better father, made me a better person and you meet new people.
“I’ve had my ups, I’ve had my downs and I’ve been at my low point, but then rugby league has brought me back to my high point.
“If it wasn’t for the game, I reckon I’d be back home, and I don’t know what I’d been doing – I’d probably be in jail or somewhere.”
For now, Lui will be focused on his team’s trip to Wigan this Thursday to face the Warriors in an elimination playoff, that will see the winner just 80 minutes away from the Super League Grand Final and the loser see their 2021 season come to an end.