NORTH Queensland icon Matt Bowen says he does not want to retire at the end of the season, lending weight to speculation linking him with Warrington.
The 31-year-old fullback, off contract at the end of the season, bounced back to something approaching his best on Saturday night against Canberra after he was rested due to knee soreness from the round six encounter with Brisbane.
While Bowen has been touted as a candidate for retirement at the end of the season, he tells RLW: “Definitely, I want to keep playing.
“I don’t want to hang them up just yet but I’ve just got to keep an eye on different things.”
But when asked if he might play somewhere else next year, Bowen answered: “I don’t think so. It hasn’t really crossed my mind.
“It’s all up in the air at the moment. I obviously want to stay here and finish my career here but we’ll see what happens. That’s what we pay our managers for.”
Warrington majority shareholder Simon Moran is said to be keen on signing Bowen as a replacement for Exiles captain Brett Hodgson, who is considering retirement.
North Queensland recruitment manager Peter Parr said the club had not even discussed the possibility of signing Wigan’s Sam Tomkins but added the club would give Bowen all the time he needed to make a decision on his future.
Bowen added: “It’s been the slowest start for me in a couple of seasons but I’ve just got to keep going with it.
“I had a shoulder injury and the knee’s been playing up. It’s good now, I’ve just got to put that behind me.
“We’ve got Morgo (Michael Morgan) and Johnno (Jonathan Thurston) going well. If they stay together for a while now, it should be a good combination.”
Bowen was the subject of speculation last week that he could have played against Brisbane but was, effectively, dropped.
He does not deny he could have taken the field in a pinch – and disagreed with the decision to rest him at the time. But he insists his knee was injured.
“Sitting out for the Bronc’s game was a good idea,” he says. “Obviously I didn’t like it at the start but, thinking back, it was the best thing I ever did.
“It was hard sitting watching it from the sideline but they’re they choices you’ve got to make.
“It was a bit sore the day before the game and I had to make a late call before lunch. That game and then the week off, back training last week … it was good.”
Filed for: RUGBY LEAGUE WEEK