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O'Donnell unsure over NRL future

Sydney Roosters veteran Luke O'Donnell says he'll wait until after the finals to decide whether to extend his NRL career into a 14th season.
O'Donnell unsure over NRL future
by AAP

By Ben Horne

SYDNEY, Sept 15 AAP - Sydney Roosters veteran Luke O'Donnell says he'll wait until after the finals to decide whether to extend his NRL career into a 14th season.

After starring in the absence of Jared Waerea-Hargreaves in the Roosters' 4-0 qualifying final win over Manly on Saturday night, O'Donnell declared he doesn't want to play for another club other than the Roosters, but needs to weigh up his options.

The rugged forward made his debut for Balmain way back in 1999, and after two years in the English Super League accepted a one-year deal to return to Australia with the Roosters.

O'Donnell's experience has been invaluable for the premiership high-flyers, and his strong form has more than justified the faith shown in him by coach Trent Robinson.

The 32-year-old says he feels physically capable of playing on but will need to put some serious thought into going around again.

"I'm happy just to wait until the end of the year and sit down and have a chat to my family," O'Donnell said.

"My wife has given up a lot the last, nearly 10 years. We lived in Townsville for seven years and two overseas, so I definitely want to get her thoughts on it all. We haven't discussed it yet.

"To be honest (if I played on), I'd love to stay here. I'm very grateful they gave me an opportunity this year and I definitely feel like it would be a hard place to leave.

"I've looked after myself well and always been a hard trainer so that's got me to where I am and has helped me keep going. If I decide to play on it won't be a problem."

O'Donnell punched out 65 minutes in an impressive return to the field after three weeks on the sidelines suspended.

The former North Queensland grand final player has had a long history of on-field brain snaps throughout his career, and was keen to make up for his latest one.

With forward leader Waerea-Hargreaves out suspended, O'Donnell's work rate was outstanding against Manly, making 17 runs for 117 metres and 32 tackles.

The pain of the Cowboys' 2005 grand final loss to the Wests Tigers are still driving O'Donnell as he eyes what could be his last shot at premiership glory.

"It's definitely a bad memory always, so it would be nice to get another chance to play," he said.

"You don't get to play in many ... you've got to make every post a winner."




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