Civoniceva says there's no time for rest - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Civoniceva says there's no time for rest

By Ben Horne 04/03/2010 06:08:59 PM Comments (0)

Penrith coach Matt Elliott last week revealed his plans to rest captain Petero Civoniceva at stages throughout this NRL season but the champion Test and Origin prop is adamant he wants to play every minute possible.

Elliott predicted Civoniceva would object to having his battle-hardened 33-year-old body wrapped in cotton wool.

But Penrith were crippled by injuries to their star men, namely Civoniceva, at key times last year - and this is why Elliott is conscious of protecting his captain.

Despite his age, the Fijian-born warrior plays as much football as anyone in the game.

He'll play his 250th first grade match in round 2, and his lengthy representative career boasts 40 Tests for Australia and 25 Origin matches for Queensland.

Civoniceva said he's yet to pick his coach's brains on the issue of rest games during 2010 but said he had no reason to believe he couldn't go the distance physically.

"I don't know, we've still got to discuss that," Civoniceva said wryly.

"I'm keen to play every week. Obviously if I play rep football again this year and you can see that there's a bit of wear and tear on the body well maybe I might have to be a bit smart about things and step down.

"But for the moment I'll always try and make myself available regardless.

"But Matt's the coach and I've got to do what's best for the team."

Civoniceva is the jewel in a bumper Panthers pack which shapes as the key to their success.

With an inexperienced halves combination, Penrith will rely on their star-studded forwards to march them up the field.

Fellow internationals Frank Pritchard, Trent Waterhouse and Luke Lewis, along with promising youngsters Sam McKendry and Tim Grant combine to form a fearsome scrum.

Civoniceva believes playing alongside such quality will reduce his workload and allow him to play every game possible.

"Most definitely, I'm really lucky in the great forwards I've got around me," he said.

"That's definitely going to be one of our strengths in our size and mobility. I know that we're going to be up for some really big battles this season but I think we'll take some stopping that's for sure.

"We've got a group of young, fringe players who have been in the system now for a few years and this year is so important they step up and take more responsibility. They've done that in their pre season so far, they've been tremendous."

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