Inspirational Sharks, NSW and Australian lock Paul Gallen says there is no consideration given to the fact that the core players in a dominant Kangaroos side are now the wrong side of 30, and he hopes the same players get another opportunity in the end-of-season Four Nations.
At 32, Gallen was the oldest player on the field in the Kangaroos' 30-18 win over the Kiwis and the average age of the Aussies was a tick over 28. Yet Gallen insisted the side hadn't spoken about the fact the dominant core of himself, Cameron Smith, Billy Slater, Johnathan Thurston and Cooper Cronk, among others, may be winding down.
"We don't talk about it and I don't worry about my age," Gallen told NRL.com.
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"I may have been concerned about it a year or two ago when I turned 30 but I judge myself on my performances.
"You don't get picked in these sides because of your name. They know you've done the job before but if you weren't playing good football they wouldn't pick you."
He added: "I'm not going to give up my position playing for Australia until there's someone better than me and they tell me I'm not good enough anymore."
It's probably a fair comment – Gallen churned out a match-high 188 metres and only the side's captain Smith made more than Gallen's 37 tackles.
On that sort of form his spot is safe for some time to come, but it's even more remarkable given Gallen had played just half-an-hour of NRL football in the opening six rounds due to an ankle injury, before returning in Round 7 and playing two strong matches ahead of the Test.
"Yeah, I'm fine," Gallen said when asked how the body was holding up.
"When I went back on in the second half I knew I just had to run the ball hard and get some yards for us and get us on the front foot. That was the job I was concentrating on doing and I thought I did that well the second half."
In terms of future Tests, Gallen said while there was still a lot of footy to be played between now and then but he hoped the Australian selectors showed loyalty to senior players.
"They'll probably start introducing some younger guys like they have with Boyd Cordner and Matt Gillett but as long as we're playing good and fit hopefully they keep the core group together," he said.
Gallen revealed the side hadn't been aware until it was brought up in the media that it was on the cusp of a record-equalling 16th-straight Test win heading into the Trans-Tasman Test.
"I had no idea about it to be honest, we didn't have a clue, we didn't speak about it, Sheensy never spoke about it once. It's obviously good to know now and we've just got to continue it," he said.
"It's a great side, we've been together for a long time and had a lot of wins. They're comparing eras from even before I was born and I'm the oldest here, a lot of these blokes wouldn't even know who those blokes (former players) are."
In terms of Friday's match, he said the Australian playing group had probably been the only ones expecting the Kiwis to perform as strongly as they did.
"Everyone was probably expecting us to run through them but we knew that wasn't going to be the case," he said.
"We gave them a couple of opportunities in the first half with some errors and some penalties and they took them. But once we got in the arm-wrestle we thought we could get the better of them and we did in the end."