Pet's time is coming: Sheens - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Pet's time is coming: Sheens

By Laine Clark 10/11/2010 07:15:08 PM Comments (0)

In a worrying sign for Petero Civoniceva, Australian coach Tim Sheens said he dreaded making a final call on the veteran prop's international rugby league career ahead of Saturday night's Four Nations final.

And in the strongest indication yet that the curtain had fallen on Civoniceva's days in the Test jersey, Sheens said Nate Myles was a "short-priced favourite" to bump the war horse from Australia's bench for the Suncorp Stadium clash with New Zealand.

"At some stage you've got to hand the reins over - it's coming (and) it won't be pleasant," Sheens said at a Men of League charity fundraiser in Brisbane on Wednesday.

"Although I know the big fella understands - he is one of the strong characters in the game.

"His time is coming, and I think he knows it."

The writing was on the wall for Civoniceva after Matt Scott and David Shillington were maintained in the front row for the Four Nations decider.

The Queensland big boppers impressed when they started ahead of Civoniceva as the veteran watched from the bench when Australia downed the Kiwis 34-20 last weekend.

As a result Civoniceva was named on a seven-man bench for Saturday night's decider and in direct competition with Myles for a final interchange nod.

But Sheens appears to have already made a decision judging by his comments at the charity fundraiser.

"Nate Myles is a short-priced favourite for the spot," he said.

"It is going to be decided but we will make it in the next couple of days.

"Whether he (Civoniceva) plays this weekend or not I will make that decision with him.

"So if he has to hand the reins over to a young prop coming through, chances are it will be a Queenslander by the looks of it."

Civoniceva's former partner in crime, retired prop Steve Price, said the veteran would know in his heart if his time had come.

"I think it is Petero who will make the decision," he told AAP.

"He has shown what he can do.

"Sometimes you have to make tough calls.

"It is not about the individual.

"The team comes first and Pet knows that for sure.

"Just because he doesn't make the team doesn't mean he is a lesser player, it's just that the coach wants to play a certain style and maybe Pet doesn't fit that at the moment."

Asked if Civoniceva deserved a fitting sendoff in the Four Nations final, Price said: "What is a fitting sendoff?

"Pet wants to keep playing for Australia forever, like we all do.

"You don't always get it the way you want to.

"I just know that if Pet plays he won't let anyone down.

"And if he doesn't get to play he will be still supporting the boys like he always does - that's why we love him so much."

The match also looms as Test skipper Darren Lockyer's last international on Australian soil.

But Sheens couldn't bear the prospect of Lockyer retiring just yet.

"Darren, I liken to (Immortal) Wally (Lewis)," he said.

"When Darren gives it away, the Australian side let alone the Queensland side will be left with a big hole in it."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 AAP

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