Kyogle Turkeys junior product Will Matthews has had an up and down 11 years in the NRL, but the 30-year-old had his biggest scare in season 2018. The back rower missed five consecutive matches mid-season after club doctors sent Matthews to see a specialist in relation to several concussions he suffered throughout the opening rounds.

"Yeah it was pretty scary especially now days there is a lot more media and a bit more know how about concussions and how they can effect you, so it is scary." Matthews said.

With more and more research being done in relation to concussions and the effect it can have on footballers later on in life, Matthews isn't prepared to take any risks.

"Obviously, you love playing the game, but if it comes to putting your future health in jeopardy it's something you have got to look pretty hard at and make a good decision.

"Luckily, I did all the sort of tests that are required, and everything was pretty normal and good to go so it's just something I've got to monitor and be aware of because I'm at the back end of my career."

Matthews finished season 2018 on 108 NRL games and is keen to add to that tally, but as he enters his 12th season in the top grade, the veteran knows what his limits are and isn't going to risk any long term injury if he can't compete at his best.

"If it comes to the stage where I feel like I can't be at the highest level and I don't feel like I'm operating at 100%, then its definitely something I would have to look into but I'm feeling good now."