I never retired from rep footy: Bailey - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

I never retired from rep footy: Bailey

By Laine Clark 05/05/2009 07:27:15 PM Comments (0)

Reports of Luke Bailey's demise as a representative player have been greatly exaggerated.

At one stage it seemed every paper that Bailey picked up said he had retired from the representative scene.

But the inspirational Gold Coast Titans co-captain reckoned it was never the case.

He claimed a quote back in 2007 came back to haunt him, creating speculation that he wasn't interested in Origins or Tests.

"I never actually made myself unavailable," Bailey told AAP.

"I talked about it, it got wind and circulated a fair bit.

"But I never said I was unavailable. I said I was contemplating it.

"I never retired - and I am glad I didn't." The player dubbed "Bull" saw red when the rumours about his rep future clearly got out of control.

"It was like it had been talked about in every paper," Bailey said.

"There were some stories in a Brisbane paper that came out and made me a little bit filthy.

"After the 2007 (Origin series) I thought it might be time to concentrate on the Titans.

"It was blown out of proportion. It made me look disrespectful.

"But I never actually made myself unavailable - I will take any rep jumper I am given.

"I am here and hopefully for a couple more years too." Bailey, 29, certainly has not looked like a man who has lost his appetite for rep footy ahead of Australia's long awaited trans-Tasman showdown in Brisbane on Friday night.

Clarification of his stance and impressive form for the Titans resulted in Bailey's first Test nod since 2007 - the same year the speculation about him began.

It is only his fourth Test cap overall.

Despite nursing a knee complaint, Bailey says he is relishing the chance to repay the Test selectors' faith.

After overcoming a horror run of injuries Bailey has been further frustrated in the lead-up to the trans-Tasman Test with knee bone bruising.

But it did not stop him from helping the Titans down South Sydney 22-14 in the NRL last round.

And Bailey didn't see it hampering him against the Kiwis at Suncorp Stadium.

"I was pretty excited (when picked). I am looking forward to going out and having a crack and showing the selectors that they have picked the right player," Bailey said.

Despite helping the Titans burst out of the blocks this season, Bailey still sounded a little surprised that his name had been plucked out by Test selectors.

"I didn't know which way they were going, there was a lot of talk about bringing new players into the side," Bailey said.

"But I didn't see the point. If you've got a player who has played there before and hadn't played too bad why not pick him - luckily I got the call up."

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