At an age where most players have long given up, Steve Menzies is finding that the game is getting both harder and easier. The 37-year-old Australian back-rower is not only still holding down a place with the Catalan Dragons, but he was also voted the best in his position by being included in the Super League Dream Team.
"It's right up there with anything I've done in my career," said Menzies, who plays for the Catalans today in their elimination semi-final against Hull KR. "I always said I would carry on as long as I could do a job – and you find that you are taking on different roles. It gets harder, because you aren't as fast or as strong, but it gets easier, because you know more."
Menzies has already signed on for another season in Perpignan and will next season break the record set by Brad Davis of Castleford when he became the oldest player in Super League, aged 38.
More immediately, he is a key man in the Dragons' attempt to keep their play-off aspirations intact. He might read the game like a veteran these days, but he still retains that youthful dash that made him a fixture in Australian Test sides more than a decade ago.
His inclusion in the Dream Team, along with his team-mate and fellow countryman Scott Dureau, is evidence of that. "He'd be the first to say that it's credit to the players around him, but it's an amazing feat," said his coach, Trent Robinson. "He's humble, but I know he values the recognition."
Robinson knows that he will need all Menzies' know-how against a Rovers side that has found much-improved form in the latter stages of the season. "They're in form. They have dominant forwards who have come into their own, which gives Blake Green and Michael Dobson the room to play some football," Robinson said.
That makes it all the more timely that Thomas Bosc returns from a long injury absence to partner Dureau in the Dragons' halves.
In tomorrow's games, either Wigan or St Helens will move to within one game of an Old Trafford Grand Final, while Leeds or Hull will bow out. Ben Cross could make a surprise return for Wigan, just a month after breaking his arm, while Saints have not named Leon Pryce or Chris Flannery.
Leeds were slighted by not having a single representative in the Dream Team this week. Finally, Richard Agar has made his first signing as Wakefield's new coach by recruiting the Cronulla centre, Dean Collis, on a three-year deal.Reuse content