DARRELL Goulding expects the pain of his retirement will resurface when he watches Hull KR walk out at Wembley tomorrow.
The ex-Warriors centre was forced to hang up the boots in June on medical advice, following a series of concussions.
Had he still been playing, he would probably have been in the Robins squad for the Challenge Cup Final clash against Leeds.
And Goulding – who won the double with home-town club Wigan in 2013 – will be hoping underdogs KR can produce a huge shock and beat Leeds.
“I’m definitely jealous I’m not there playing, but I’m made up for the lads,” said the 27-year-old.
“They’re so deserving, and the joy when they won the semi-final – you’ve never seen anything like it.
“It’s a massive week for them. At Wigan, we’re used to it, but for them it’s a massive occasion because they’ve not been there for so long. It’s a great experience for them, and they have to enjoy it because you don’t know how many chances you get.”
Goulding’s role tomorrow will be restricted to being a supporter, and he has not put a victory beyond Chris Chester’s outfit.
“Leeds are the favourites and on their day, they’re the best in the league,” he said. “But it’s a one-off game and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if they won.
“No one gave them a chance against Warrington in the semi-final - or Wigan in their opening round - so the fact they’ve done it already will help them.”
Since retiring, Goulding has been keeping himself busy with “bits and bobs” while he decides his next career move, including help get a compression sportswear firm ‘Sports Doctor’ off the ground.
“I’m enjoying it, you wouldn’t think it would be so different, but the freedom of not playing has taken some getting used to,” he said. “But don’t get me wrong, I’d definitely rather be playing.”