Veteran NRL duo ponder 16th seasons - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Veteran NRL duo ponder 16th seasons

Steve Jancetic 13/07/2011 06:37:54 PM Comments (0)

Together they've combined for almost 600 top grade games but modern marvels Petero Civoniceva and Nathan Hindmarsh are both refusing to rule out the possibility of turning out for a 16th NRL season.

Contracted through to the end of next season, it was assumed the pair would hang up their boots after 2012, given few players in the history of the game have put their bodies through more of a battering than these two.

But in the case of 35-year-old Penrith skipper Civoniceva, 2013 remains a very real prospect, while Hindmarsh - who will play his 300th game when he leads out Parramatta against the Panthers on Saturday night - is still undecided.

"Some days I do, some days I think that's enough but other days I think I can go another couple of years," said Hindmarsh.

"It all depends if the coach (Stephen Kearney) wants me or not.

"I'd like to play on until I am 50, whether or not that happens...

"I'm signed with Parramatta for another year and I'll get serious about seeing where I am at probably halfway through next year."

Civoniceva, who will pass the 300-game mark next year, was far more assured.

"I will keep playing beyond next year," he said.

"I'll see how the body's holding up - if I'm right to play another season, I'll definitely put my hand up for it.

"Retirement's probably not something that's in my mind at the moment."

With Ivan Cleary to take over as coach at the Panthers next season, Civoniceva said he was not sure what the club's plans were going forward and refused to rule out the possibility of moving clubs to extend his playing career.

There was speculation earlier this week that the Queensland and Australian warhorse was unwanted by the club for next season but those fears were allayed following a meeting on Tuesday with general manager of football Phil Gould.

"We'd heard a bit of speculation that there might have been talks about maybe moving me on, whether it was me retiring from football or not seeing out that final year with the club," Civoniceva said.

"The club is going through a transition period and I guess there's a lot of speculation that goes with that.

"It was just one of those things that I just needed to nip in the bud with Phil and we had a chat yesterday."

Another factor in extending his NRL career beyond 2012 will be Civoniceva's representative availability.

A veteran of 45 Tests and 30 Origins, Civoniceva will mull over his future in the maroon as well as the green and gold, the most capped forward in Test and Origin history determined not to become a token selection.

"I don't want be there because of past deeds. I want to be there because I've earned the right to those representative jerseys," Civoniceva said.

Asked about the impact it could have on him playing on at club level, Civoniceva said: "I think it would help.

"It would be interesting to see how you go, playing a season without rep football. I'm sure there would be some benefits."

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