Daly Cherry-Evans makes big call on State of Origin future after revelation about family

The 35-year-old will play his 23rd game for Queensland in the Origin opener.

Daly Cherry-Evans has addressed his future in representative footy, admitting it's a "year-by-year" proposition about whether he will put his hand up for State of Origin selection. The 35-year-old will captain Queensland once again this year, but hasn't decided what the future holds for him in the Origin arena.

The Manly Sea Eagles champion isn't considering retiring from the NRL just yet, but there's a possibility he'll opt out of playing State of Origin in the near future. Discussing the situation in Maroons camp on Wednesday, Cherry-Evans said: "It is year-to-year. Last year I started to think about those sorts of things just because of the physical and emotional exertion that comes from this. It is huge.

"By the end of the series I am bloody tired. I am getting older. I am more aware of it but it is obviously not this year. Next year we will just have to wait and see."

Daly Cherry-Evans with his wife and daughters.
Daly Cherry-Evans wants to inspire his daughters by playing on and thriving. Image: Getty/AAP

Cherry-Evans will play his 23rd game for the Maroons next Wednesday night and is hoping to lead his state to a third-consecutive Origin series victory. The halfback has played his last 15 Origin games consecutively - all as captain of the Maroons.

DCE has won three series out of the five he has played in as captain, and the reason he keeps coming back for more is pretty simple. "I am loving it so much in here (in camp). I am loving what this group does, the way we train and the way we learn off each other," he said.

"It is just a really good place to be. What this group has created over the last few years is really special. There are so many good people involved and it makes you want to keep going and keep getting success for Queensland. I love my time in camp as much as ever and I still get just as nervous on a Sunday waiting for the phone to ring."

Speaking late last year about becoming the oldest halfback to represent Australia in rugby league, Cherry-Evans said his three daughters were of an age where they could recognise his achievements. He admitted that part of his desire to keep playing is to inspire them.

"A lot of it is to do with inspiring," he said. "I've got three young daughters and I feel like they're at a good age where they're quite intrigued about my career and where I'm at. They get it, the older two in particular.

"So, I think each new season and each game, I'm trying to inspire them to chase their dreams. I understand that I'm at the latter stages of my career but I'm really enjoying my footy and I spend a lot of time making sure I'm staying fit and healthy and giving myself the best chance to play well on the weekend."

Daly Cherry-Evans with his daughters.
Daly Cherry-Evans with his daughters ahead of his club record 310th game for Manly in Round 5.
Daly Cherry-Evans in Queensland State of Origin camp in 2023.
Daly Cherry-Evans with his daughters Harvie and Navi during Queensland State of Origin camp in 2023.


While Cherry-Evans is still playing well enough to be selected for the Maroons, the likes of Tom Dearden, Ezra Mam and Sam Walker are all pushing their cases. But the 35-year-old said he isn't feeling any pressure to hold his spot.

"Respectfully, it is an awareness more than it is a pressure. I am aware of circumstances," he said. "I watch a lot of footy. I enjoy rugby league. So I get it when people are playing well and young Queensland halves are going well.

"Do I see it as a pressure? No I don't. I just believe in my ability to come in here and help the side. It is great for Queensland that young halves are playing well. Even here, standing as a Queensland halfback, that is not a threat. That is good for Queensland because my time is going to be coming to an end soon. It is great that they are hopefully ready to play for Queensland soon."

with AAP