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Rollercoaster ride for NRL's Gallen

Still bubbling over the Kangaroos' rugby league World Cup win, forward Paul Gallen has revealed the successful campaign still didn't banish thoughts of the doping investigation into the NRL and his Cronulla club.
Rollercoaster ride for NRL's Gallen
by AAP

By Adrian Warren

SYDNEY, Dec 4 AAP - Still bubbling over the Kangaroos' rugby league World Cup win, forward Paul Gallen has revealed the successful campaign still didn't banish thoughts of the doping investigation into the NRL and his Cronulla club.

Gallen described 2013 as a rollercoaster year after he and several other players returned from England on Wednesday following their crushing 34-2 win over New Zealand in last weekend's final.

Having endured season-long scrutiny at Cronulla over the Australian Sports Anti-doping Authority's investigation, another NSW Origin series loss and a finals campaign with Cronulla, Gallen reflected on a year of contrasts.

"It's been a real rollercoaster to be honest, I don't know how else to describe it," Gallen said.

"I've had ups and downs and highs and lows, but to finish the year as a world champion - that's great."

His exuberance was tempered by questions about the ASADA investigation, which he declined to comment on.

However, the inspirational forward admitted the World Cup campaign didn't provide an escape from that issue.

"It doesn't make a difference, you can run away from things, but it's still there, isn't it?," Gallen said.

"It wasn't anything new to me, I've been going through it all year.

"I was glad to be over there and getting the win, that's all that matters."

Holding aloft the trophy at Sydney Airport, Gallen had no qualms about the length of a season which almost extended into December.

"I've just had the time of my life, so I'm not whingeing one bit," Gallen said.

He said he was nervous going into Saturday's final, but wasn't surprised by the easy win over New Zealand.

"We played ruthless rugby league for 80 minutes. We did that for the last four of five games that we played in," Gallen said.

"When you work hard good things come your way and that's what happened to us.

"I think we brought our A game to the last few games."

The Sharks skipper will box All Blacks forward Liam Messam on the Fight For Life promotion in Auckland on Saturday week and doesn't expect to resume league training until mid-January.


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