Anthony Watmough says he’s received assurances he’s not being pushed out of Parramatta after having to fend off retirement rumours.
A bullish Watmough has denied reports his career is over due to a chronic knee injury after struggling to get on the training paddock for most of the NRL pre-season.
Late last year, Watmough admitted he at times feared for his playing future after struggling to run and walk following knee surgery.
And while he is expected to miss the first few weeks of the new season, he has brushed off suggestions he is ready to hang up his boots.
Watmough suffered a setback during a training mishap three weeks ago but he said he was not ready to call it quits.
It’s been rumoured Parramatta had been applying pressure on the 303-game veteran to stand down, fearing he was past his best and would be little more than a passenger during the final three years of his contract.
If Watmough was moved on, it would clear up the club’s salary cap strain, and provide coach Brad Arthur with the funds to chase former fullback Jarryd Hayne should he return from the NFL.
However, Watmough hosed down suggestions he had discussed retirement with Arthur and felt threatened about his place at the club.
“The only chats we’ve had this year have been about moving forward on the field and taking the club in the direction that we’re going,” Watmough told the Nine Network.
“I spoke to Brad this morning and we had a chat and he’s like ‘mate, I don’t know where it’s come from’.”
Watmough has defied pain for most of his career, which has included 14 games for NSW and 16 appearances for Australia, often playing injured.
His 2015 campaign was cut short by a shoulder injury and he had surgery to repair his medial ligament in the off-season after putting off the procedure for several years.
While injury-plagued, he said he was planning to play on as long as possible.
“(Retirement) hasn’t even popped into my mind,” Watmough said.
“There’s been a lot of talk but there hasn’t even been that conversation with my manager or sat down with Brad.”