“I guess that depends on the person. Everyone is different. Clubs do run the risk of that eventually happening,” Jason Taumalolo told AAP.
Taumalolo is starting year three of his 10-year contract with North Queensland Cowboys.
Jason Taumalolo will be 27 years of age during the Telstra 2020 NRL Premiership competition. Is it really feasible that he will still be capable of playing when he turns 34 during the last season of his contact?
He certainly has a year or two, at least, before any talk of an extension can be raised and the way he plays football, it would seem to be a question not of if, but when and injury will take him off.
Taumalolo already has 180 games on his clock following his debut in 2010. Eight complete seasons of football will give Taumalolo, assuming he plays them all, will put him at 372 games played.
That number of games would tie him with Cooper Cronk, but 39 short of the 411-game figure that tops the table and belongs to Cameron Smith.
Taumalolo considered the premier forward in the NRL, was responding to reporters’ questions about whether such a lengthy contract would cause him to become complacent.
Ignoring the fact that North Queensland would tear up Taumalolo’s contract should he fail to produce at some future point, the player avowed that he could not envision a scenario where he would lose his fervour.
Taumalolo says he will avoid the comfort zone at all costs.
“Signing a long-term deal the motivation isn’t so much to try and get myself ready for another big year and do it for long periods of time,” Taumalolo said.”I have moved past that stage.”
He might find himself at a different stage at some point, should the Cows fail to find a premiership or two.
Since winning the flag in 2015 and finishing runners up in 2017, the past two years have been far below expectations, with North Queensland finishing 13th in 2018 and 14th in 2019.