Steve Menzies signs with Bradford - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Steve Menzies signs with Bradford

17/07/2008 07:40:08 PM Comments (0)

Manly great Steve Menzies announced he would finish his illustrious career in England, admitting he couldn't bear to stay in the NRL if it meant playing against his beloved club.

The 34-year-old backrower, known as 'Beaver', will join Super League side Bradford on a one-year deal in 2008, bringing to an end a 16-season career in the NRL.

He will finish his career in Australia as arguably rugby league's greatest clubman, with his loyalty to the Sea Eagles a rarity in the modern game.

Although technically listed as playing for two clubs, Menzies is considered a one-club man because of Manly's three-year involvement in the Northern Eagles joint-venture.

His 338 appearances for both clubs puts him well ahead of other leading one-club players - Cronulla's Andrew Ettingshausen (328) and Canberra's Jason Croker (318).

With the Sea Eagles deciding not to offer the veteran a contract extension due to salary cap restraints and Menzies keen to play on, the loyal backrower said he could only see himself continuing overseas.

"That wasn't an option, to play against Manly," Menzies said.

"Growing up in the area and always supporting Manly and living here, it's the club I love and always will.

"So it wasn't really an option to run around against them."

Menzies said he had no regrets about the circumstances of his departure from the club and said he hoped his loyalty to the Sea Eagles would rub off on some of the club's upcoming stars.

"Even when I was 6 or 7, I always wanted to play for Manly and once I played first grade and played here for a few years, I could never really see myself playing for anyone else," Menzies said.

"You look at some of the local juniors here, the Anthony Watmoughs, the Jason Kings and Brett Stewarts, if those type of guys, if they can take a leaf out of my book then Manly's going to be in good hands for the future."

Menzies is only 12 matches off breaking Canterbury and Wests great Terry Lamb's all-time NRL appearances record of 349 games.

He could make it a fairytale farewell and eclipse the mark in this year's NRL grand final, provided he plays in their remaining eight round games and the Sea Eagles go all the way.

Ironically however, the league-leading Sea Eagles' superb form could threaten to rob him of the milestone.

If they finish the regular season first or second and win their opening finals match, it would mean they earn a week off in the second week of finals.

Menzies said he was unconcerned about the milestone and would look back on his career with pride no matter what happened this season.

"That's never going to come into the equation, having to break the record," Menzies said.

"Even if I fall one short and miss a game, that's the way it goes and I'm proud of what I've done."

Several other English clubs were reportedly interested in Menzies, including Salford and Widnes, but he said after a "tough decision" he chose the Bulls because of their rich rugby league history.

Menzies said playing a further year in England was a possibility and also said he could return to Manly in some other capacity in the future.

In the meantime, he said the fact he was leaving the NRL would take time to sink in.

"I don't think it's really dawned on me," said Menzies, who will release an autobiography next month.

"It's a sad time I suppose having played my whole career here, but obviously it's a new adventure for me and definitely one I'm looking forward to."

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