The Wendell Sailor show almost over - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

The Wendell Sailor show almost over

By Wayne Heming 09/02/2010 07:20:39 AM Comments (0)

The Wendell Sailor show is over, no more comebacks says the flamboyant showman who entertained fans almost as much off the field as he did on it for 15 years.

Sailor officially retired after St George Illawarra's loss at the hands of his former club Brisbane in last year's NRL finals.

But the All Star concept of an Indigenous side playing an NRL side has given the Sarina-born Torres Strait Islander one last encore.

"This is it, this is my last game. I'm not going to be like John Farnham and keep coming out for one last game on Wendell's farewell tour," joked the dual international on Monday.

"It's my chance to thank rugby league for having me back to play for my people and my family."

Sailor wasn't sure he'd ever get back playing again.

His career and life were upended in 2006 after he was banned for two years for using cocaine.

Sailor is pumped about dropping the curtain on his career against the two people he admired and respected most - Darren Lockyer and Wayne Bennett.

"I thought my last game was against the Broncos (last year's finals) so I was pretty shattered," he said.

"To have an opportunity go out and play against Wayne and more so Locky, I just can't wait.

"I feel so privileged."

Sailor recalled the thrill of being an Indigenous boy when he played under-17s for Queensland.

"But this is massive for some of these young players," he said.

"You've got the stars of tomorrow. I'm playing with Jharal Yow Yeh and I'm rooming with Jamal Idris ... it's the young pup and the old dog."

Halfback Johnathan Thurston described the mood in camp as "very laid back".

"The boys are a bit more laid back," laughed Thurston.

"Origins are special sides to be part of and this is a special side to be in as well.

"We've all taken to each other's company.

"We certainly won't be taking it lightly.

"It's pretty special for the boys representing their people and their families, we'll be taking it very seriously and I'm sure the NRL All Stars will too."

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