Rogers retired too early: Dell - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Rogers retired too early: Dell

Laine Clark 10/03/2011 09:09:15 PM Comments (0)

Life without Mat Rogers is about to kick-off for the Gold Coast Titans, but Wendell Sailor believes his fellow dual international should still be playing.

Souths recruit Luke Capewell will try to fill the big shoes left by Rogers at Titans pivot against defending premiers the Dragons in their NRL opener at Skilled Park on Saturday night.

Sailor said he had no problem with Capewell but was adamant Rogers had retired a year too early.

He believed Rogers' experience would have been priceless for a young Titans brigade looking to go at least one better than their 2010 preliminary final berth.

"I still think he should have played for another year," Sailor said on Thursday.

"They have got some great depth (and) they will be one of the teams to beat this year.

"But Mat was still carving teams up last year.

"He could have played off the bench at centre, fullback, wing - you name it.

"And with those young guys coming through like Kevin Gordon and Ryan James, having senior players at a club will only bolster the ranks and help those younger players come through."

Sailor said Titans veteran Preston Campbell was a perfect example of the role Rogers could have played at the NRL club this year.

Still as dangerous as he was in his 1998 first grade debut, Campbell, 33, will be used as an interchange weapon this season after vacating his starting fullback spot to William Zillman.

"I am a massive fan of Presto and he will play that role well," Sailor said.

"But I told Mat this morning 'you are retired a long time'.

"I asked him 'are you injured, what's happening?'

"But he just knew it was time for him to go.

"I know Carty (Titans coach John Cartwright) tried to say 'you are still playing good football, stay on' but Mat felt it was time to go so good luck to him."

Sailor was amongst the big names who arrived - then roasted - Rogers at the ex-Titans pivot's testimonial lunch on the Gold Coast on Thursday.

While he may have had second thoughts about letting ex-teammates dig up old anecdotes from his past, Rogers had no regrets about his retirement.

He gave his blessing to Capewell, who will combine with captain Scott Prince in the season opener.

"He's probably a bit faster than me," Rogers laughed.

"But because Princey is such a good ball player you probably need someone to complement that with a running game and he definitely has that.

"He's a great young player and a gutsy little bugger.

"I am well and truly content with the decision that I have made and looking forward to the season starting with me as a spectator."

Meanwhile, Rogers, 35, was later honoured as the inaugural inductee into the Titans Hall of Fame.

Titans managing director Michael Searle made the surprise announcement at Thursday's luncheon.

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