Roosters' Fitzgibbon ponders retirement - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Roosters' Fitzgibbon ponders retirement

By Adrian Warren 24/02/2009 06:59:51 PM Comments (0)

Long-serving Sydney Roosters forward Craig Fitzgibbon has revealed he is likely to make a decision around half-a-dozen games into the NRL season about whether he will play on beyond this year.

NSW and Australian representative Fitzgibbon, 31, is only contracted to the Roosters for this year.

The goal-kicking backrower and former Roosters captain stressed he wouldn't be forced into retirement, but hinted if he did play on, he wanted to remain with the Roosters.

"I feel great, I am not going to be forced into retirement if I don't feel like it," Fitzgibbon said on Tuesday.

"But certainly I will make a knowledgeable decision, after probably half-a-dozen games or so, when I see how my body is going and decide what's best for my future.

"This time around, it's important. I've got a young family so I'll be making the best decision for them as well as myself, but obviously the Roosters will have a lot to say in that, because I don't really fancy being anywhere else other than here."

While Fitzgibbon was open-minded about the possibility of finishing his career overseas, he didn't want to start thinking about next year yet as it would be selfish and he wanted to concentrate on playing for the Roosters.

Likewise, Fitzgibbon was trying not to think too much about continuing his representative career.

He capped an amazing comeback to the representative ranks last year by being re-called to the Australian side from which he was dropped following the 2005 Tri Nations loss to New Zealand.

"I think the formula that works for me best was not thinking about it (rep selection)," Fitzgibbon said.

"I think in the two years previous to last year where I did miss out, I think I probably got side-tracked and worried about things that are out of my control.

"Like what other players are doing and who is playing well and it just detracts from what you're doing."

While Fitzgibbon said the introduction of younger players under new Australian coach Tim Sheens was part of the Australian team's evolution, he expected fellow veterans Steve Price and Petero Civoniceva to push for Test selection again.

"They are that good, those guys will just thrive under Tim Sheens," Fitzgibbon said of Price and Civoniceva.

Although not ruling out adding to his representative portfolio, Fitzgibbon said he wanted to concentrate on moving from lock to the second row.

"It's only subtle changes, but it's still enough to take some thinking and take some time to readjust your mind," Fitzgibbon said.

Fitzgibbon's number 13 jersey will go Braith Anasta, who also replaced him as captain late last season.

Losing the captaincy has reduced his off-field workload, but Fitzgibbon was adamant he still played a strong leadership role on the field.

"If anything, I'm probably more of a leader now that I am not captain than before, but Braith is our on-field captain and is certainly the man for the job." Fitzgibbon said.

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