Daly Cherry-Evans has shut down suggestions he's on the verge of retiring from representative football, revealing how his daughters have helped him continue his form into the later stages of his career. The 34-year-old will line up at halfback for the Kangaroos against Samoa on Saturday, with first-choice No.7 Nathan Cleary out with a knee injury.
It comes as reward for Cherry-Evans maintaining his form over the last few years after he lost the Australian halfback jersey to Cleary at the World Cup last year. Despite being overtaken by Cleary, the Manly halfback managed to get the better of his rival by leading Queensland to State of Origin glory in 2023.
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It marked the second-consecutive series in which Cherry-Evans' Maroons have beaten Cleary and the Blues. While Cherry-Evans is undoubtedly in the twilight of his career, the 34-year-old is showing no signs of slowing down.
He will become Australia's oldest halfback in history when he runs out against Samoa in Townsville on Saturday. Ahead of the momentous achievement, the 2013 Dally M Medallist said he's intent on inspiring his daughters by playing on.
"A lot of [wanting to be the best] is to do with inspiring," he told Channel 9 this week. "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 not retiring from rep football just yet
The 305-game, 12-season veteran smacked down claims he would look to give away representative football to focus on his final few years in the NRL with Manly. "There's probably no reason for me to stop playing Origin and any rep footy at the moment. I'm loving it," he said.
The Manly and Queensland star was recently named Sports Dad of the Year. He and partner Vessa have three daughters together - Navi (8), Harvie (6) and Tully (3).
“Being a dad to three daughters is tough,” he said last month. “And I’m told it will only get tougher once they hit their teenage years. But probably the thing I love most is trying to understand what makes my kids happy. Guiding them and supporting them to give them every opportunity to live a happy life.
Speaking about Vessa he said: "I always knew my mum did a fantastic job but it’s not until you witness firsthand what a mother does to support your children that you really understand it all. I’ll always be grateful for the time Vessa has spent with our kids giving them so many opportunities to enjoy their childhood."
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