NSW and Cronulla skipper Paul Gallen isn’t ruling out playing on beyond next year despite only re-signing for the Sharks for one more NRL season.
Gallen on Wednesday ended months of speculation when he recommitted to Cronulla in a deal that will enable the 15-season veteran finish his career – whenever that may be – as a rare one-club man.
Sharks chief executive Lyall Gorman also revealed the 251-game star is also free to box between seasons and will be given an ambassadorial role with the club following his retirement.
“He’s an icon of the game, not just our club,” Gorman said.
“But he’s certainly behind only ET (Andrew Ettingshausen) in terms of (the most) number of games for our club.
“And there’s no doubt that he will go down in the annuls of history as one of the absolute greats and immortals over time.
“So it’s a great day for the club.”
Gallen, who turns 34 next month, said it was a mutual decision to only sign for one more year.
“I was only ever after one more year,” he said.
“As I’ve said before I wouldn’t mind going to an English Super League club for a season, but I’ll see how I am in 12 months’ time and I’ll decide what my future is then.”
The State of Origin and Test stalwart said he won’t make a decision on his representative availability until later, but insisted he still felt up to the rigours physically.
“When you look at the games and how I’ve played them, I think bar Corey Parker I don’t think there’s any player in the league who is able to do what Corey and I do,” Gallen said.
“That’s play 80 minutes in the middle of the field and make as many tackles and as many runs that we do.
“As long as my body holds up, there’s no reason that I can’t keep going.”