I won't let anyone down for Roos: Petero - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

I won't let anyone down for Roos: Petero

By Todd Balym 09/10/2009 06:31:41 PM Comments (0)

No one would dare suggest it, but Petero Civoniceva is adamant he won't let anyone down when he makes a comeback after four months out in a Test match for Australia.

Civoniceva was as surprised as anyone when he was included in Australia's 24-man Four Nations squad despite not playing since sustaining a severe toe injury in State of Origin II on June 24.

But the 32-year-old Penrith prop insists fitness will not be an issue and he will use his 37th Test for Australia as a chance to repay the faith selectors have shown in picking him after such a long lay-off.

"I've got no doubts I will be right to handle the games that are coming up," said Civoniceva.

"You've got an Australian jersey on, I'm not going to let anyone down.

"I make no secret of how proud it is for me to play representative football, especially representing your country.

"To be able to get an opportunity after such a long period out, I feel like I want to repay the favour."

Civoniceva also revealed he was set to make his NRL comeback in the Panthers' final round clash with Newcastle but pulled out at the last minute.

But it's a decision he now regrets as Penrith lost to the Knights and subsequently missed the finals.

"I was always hoping to compete in the back end of the season for the Panthers," he said.

"I had a few delays with the surgery and just ran out of time.

"I did a few running sessions with the team but at the last moment before game day I decided to pull the pin. I just wasn't up to scratch and it was a crucial game for us.

"We all know what happened after that and maybe it might have been worth pushing it just a little bit."

Civoniceva said, because he missed his last 10 club games, he sought permission from the Panthers to go on tour and was pleased when coach Matthew Elliott told him he would never stand in his path to play for Queensland or Australia.

It's prompted Civoniceva to declare his intentions to play for state and country well beyond next year when his contract expires at Penrith.

The ageless warhorse said he plans to keep playing in the NRL beyond 2010, and hasn't ruled out a return "home" to Brisbane.

"I'm still feeling good. This toe injury is probably the first (long term) injury I've had since 2001 when I broke my arm," he said.

"I still feel like I've got something to offer at that level. Obviously there will be a time when I don't come under the selectors' radar and when that will be I'm not too sure.

"I'm more than confident that I still have a few years left in me.

"I still feel really driven about wanting to be part of the representative scene and playing at a high level every week.

"I just want to get through this tour and then we will sit down through the off-season and see what opportunities there are (for the future).

"It's going to be a tough call. With the wife and four young kids, Brisbane is home but the Panthers have been great to us.

"We're happy where we are but it will be good to see what opportunities come in and make a decision from there."

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