Kangaroos hero Paul Gallen has declared a desire to help Australia regain the number one ranking in what is likely to be a farewell Four Nations tour at the end of the year.
Gallen was named man-of-the-match in Friday’s 16-0 win over New Zealand after producing a game-high 240 metres from 21 carries in a typically whole-hearted performance.
Australia’s next Test will be in October, in a rematch against New Zealand in Perth ahead of the Four Nations tournament in England.
While the NSW State of Origin skipper has already decided that this year’s interstate series will be his last, Gallen has yet to make a call on when he’ll retire from the green and gold.
For now, he simply wants to help the Kangaroos get back to where they belong.
“I want to get Australia back to number one,” Gallen said.
“The first step was winning tonight and we did that so now I’ll go back to club level and enjoy that.
“If I’m still playing good at the end of the year and I get picked to tour, then I’ll probably tour.”
Should the 34-year-old settle on hanging up his boots altogether, he could mimic current Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga by farewelling the game in national colours.
Meninga played his final rugby league game in Australia’s 74-0 win over France in 1994.
“To go out on my terms like that would be nice, but I really don’t know,” he said.
“I’ll get through the next six weeks and see what happens, talk to the club and see what they’re thinking and just go from there. But I’ve really got no plans at the moment.”
Gallen will now play two games for the Sharks before focusing his energy on a final tilt at Queensland, with game one to be played at ANZ Stadium on June 1.
Despite still nursing a knee injury he hurt earlier in the year, the Sharks captain said he has no intention of being rested to keep him fresh for the Blues.
“I actually checked our draw the other day. We only miss one game out of the Origin series. That’s obviously really good for club level and the way we’re going, I don’t expect to be rested,” he said.
“But you might not see me play 80 minutes every week – that’ll probably help me a bit. And we’ve got enough depth there at the moment that I probably don’t have to do that.”