Cronulla skipper Paul Gallen insists he is yet to make a call on whether the 2017 season will be his last as he embarks on his 17th year in the NRL.
Gallen will turn 36 in August and signed a one-year contract extension with the Sharks last year.
There was some recent suggestion that he was looking to push for a further deal into 2018 – but he says he is in no hurry to make a call.
“I haven’t put a date on anything,” Gallen said at Thursday’s NRL season launch.
“I haven’t made a decision on what I’m going to do next year but I’ve heard these whispers that I’m going to play again.
“But I can assure you I haven’t said to anyone that I’m going to play again, I haven’t said to anyone that I’m going to retire.”
Instead, Gallen said he would wait until the middle of the season before making a decision on his future.
The 279-game NRL veteran last year announced his retirement from representative duties, ending a 10-year stint as a permanent fixture in the NSW line-up.
Even given the fact Gallen hasn’t played more than 20 games in a season for the Sharks since 2011, he said he didn’t expect the club-only approach to change his game too much in 2017.
“I don’t think it will have any impact to be honest,” Gallen said.
“I’ll play the same way I do every week, I’ve got a job to do.”
Regardless of how good his own form could be though, the 24-game Origin player said he didn’t expect either he or NSW coach Laurie Daley to be tempted into a comeback request.
“I don’t think there will be any need for him to come calling,” Gallen said.
“There are plenty of blokes who have come along now.
“I had hold to fort long enough to hold on until there were Origin players and I think there are a few now.”
Meanwhile, fellow NRL veteran and Gallen’s Origin rival, Johnathan Thurston, confirmed he was having no second thoughts about making 2017 his last season in representative football.
“It was one of the toughest decisions I’ve had to make but I’m comfortable with the decision I’ve made,” Thurston said.