“Miracles happen”: Sam Thaiday hopeful of another NRL season

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    The end is nigh for Sam Thaiday – or is it?

    In a surprise backflip, veteran forward Thaiday says he has not given up on playing another NRL season for Brisbane.

    The off-contract 32-year-old had announced 2018 would be his 16th and final NRL season after coach Wayne Bennett told Thaiday he was not in his future plans.

    But Thaiday said on Tuesday he would by vying for a contract extension with a big 2018 starting with Brisbane’s NRL trial against Gold Coast Titans at Toowoomba on Saturday night.

    Thaiday was on Tuesday named Broncos skipper for the trial.

    “You have to wait and see, you never know,” Thaiday said of his future.

    “Miracles happen in rugby league. Contracts are thrown around willy nilly these days.

    “Over the last couple of years I have set up myself for life after footy.

    “I just want to make sure my transition is good if it comes this year or if it comes next year we will see what happens.”

    Thaiday currently sits on 279 games and will push toward Brisbane’s elite 300-game club in 2018, behind only Darren Lockyer (355 games) and Corey Parker (347).

    The former Test backrower said he would push for another season – but only at the Broncos.

    “That’s the plan. It is something taught to me at a young age, to be loyal and stay with one club,” he said.

    “I could never put on a different jersey and play against the Broncos.”

    Thaiday has also not ruled out breaking back into the Queensland side after the 29-game Origin forward was dropped following the Maroons’ series-opening thrashing from NSW last year.

    “I am always a hope. I can only play well for the Broncos – that’s the only way I can get selected,” he said.

    First Thaiday has to work out where he fits into a new-look Broncos pack that will be without Adam Blair, Herman Ese’ese and Jai Arrow in 2018.

    Thaiday did not mind filling the gaping front row void created by Kiwi captain Blair’s departure.

    “I am sure I won’t be playing long minutes there but if it is a job I have to do for the team I am more than happy to do it,” he said.

    Thaiday will this weekend lead a Broncos side without skipper Darius Boyd (hamstring) and rested playmaker Anthony Milford.

    Former Wests Tigers prop Matt Lodge will make his Broncos debut and ex-Queensland winger Corey Oates is on the bench as a backrower.

    © AAP 2018

    The New South Wales State of Origin team for the 2018 series remains a mystery, with new coach Brad Fittler facing plenty of selection headaches. So we want you to tell us - and all your mates - who should start for Blues in Game 1 with our team picker.

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    The Crowd Says (5)

    • February 14th 2018 @ 9:18am
      Paul said | February 14th 2018 @ 9:18am | ! Report

      Sam needs to decide whether he’s going to go out on his terms or be pushed. He wants to play SOO but has already stated he won’t be playing big minutes for the Broncos and his 2017 season was okay at best.

      He’s a champion bloke and as a non-Broncos supporter, he’s one of the good guys. It’d be best of someone got in his ear and suggested a career change at the end of the season.That would be a better result than getting the “don’t come Monday” slip

    • February 14th 2018 @ 1:19pm
      ferret said | February 14th 2018 @ 1:19pm | ! Report

      Yeah, nah!
      Love ya Sammy but your best years are in the rearview mirror.
      And Wayne doesn’t strike me as the sentimental kind.

      Besides, you’ve got a bright future in the media.

    • February 14th 2018 @ 2:04pm
      Gray-Hand said | February 14th 2018 @ 2:04pm | ! Report

      There is nothing shameful about a professional sportsman deciding to continue playing their sport until they are no longer good enough to be selected on merit. The idea that a professional sportsman should retire while they still have the desire and the ability to compete for the sake of ensuring their legacy is adverse the fundamental notion that sport is about striving to be the best that you can be. Thaiday is to be applauded.

      The only shame comes when they continue to be selected out of sentiment rather than merit. It doesn’t look like There is any danger that Bennett would let that happen.

      In that sense

      • February 14th 2018 @ 4:40pm
        Paul said | February 14th 2018 @ 4:40pm | ! Report

        The issue is not so much about whether Sam wants or indeed does, continue to play the game at first grade level, it’s more about who will be play for? He’s obviously a one team man and it would be good to see him play out his career at the Broncos, but he probably has maybe this season left at this level and that’s it at the Broncos or probably any other NRL Club.

        He could probably get a run overseas but that’s different from him trying and failing to play next year in the NRL.

    • February 15th 2018 @ 7:48am
      Greg Ambrose said | February 15th 2018 @ 7:48am | ! Report

      Just tell your club that ‘age is only a number’ and sign on for another five years Sam

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