Perfect partnership drawing to an end?
The pressure may be mounting on Warriors veteran Steve Price to call it quits on his glittering representative career – but there are no such plans for Queensland team-mate Petero Civoniceva.<br><br>The Maroons duo have both paid a heavy toll for their hectic schedules this season with Penrith captain Civoniceva ruled out for the remainder of the year with a toe injury and Price set to miss his side’s last two games having only just returned last Sunday from a rib injury.<br><br>Warriors coach Ivan Cleary this week said he would sit down with his evergreen front-rower to discuss stepping down from rep football in 2010 as the club looks to rebound from their horror 2009 season.<br><br>But on this side of the Tasman, Civoniceva today insisted he will again be available for Queensland as they look to make it five series wins in a row.<br><br>“I haven’t been tapped on the shoulder by anyone yet and to be honest I think Matty (Elliott, Penrith coach) is happy for me to keep going for as long as I feel that I’m capable of playing at that level,” Civoniceva said.<br><br>“He has been very supportive. And I still want to keep playing. <br><br>“It’s always a goal every time the season kicks off and that hasn’t changed for me.”<br><br>Civoniceva played down concerns over his current injury in which he ripped a tendon from the bone during the second State of Origin game this year, claiming it was a one-off and pointing to his clean record over the years as proof that he wasn’t a spent force just yet.<br><br>“This is my first serious injury for a long time,” he said. “I broke my arm in 2000 but I’ve been very fortunate and have had a good run.<br><br>“It was just a freak injury – it wasn’t in a collision or anything like that. I just went to step off my foot and the injury happened.<br><br>“I haven’t been in this situation for a long time so I’m not worried.”<br><br>Civoniceva’s situation is in stark contrast to that of Price, who has suffered a serious of injury concerns over the past two seasons.<br><br>The Warriors captain missed eight games early last year with a hamstring tear and was later ruled out of the World Cup Final for Australia after injuring his calf at training.<br><br>He had enjoyed a better run this season until missing three weeks recently with rib cartilage damage and announcing this week that he is also out for the remainder of the season with eye, Achilles and finger problems.<br><br>He remains in serious doubt for the Kangaroos’ end-of-season tour, prompting the Warriors to push for him to quit representative football in 2010.<br><br>Civoniceva admitted today that while he expected to continue his representative career in the future, it would be difficult to ignore his club’s wishes should they eventually step in.<br><br>“I’m sure there will come a time when the club will probably want me to step down and focus wholly on club duties,” he said.<br><br>“It’s a tricky one… I think you’ve got to be responsible enough to acknowledge if it is impacting on your performances for your club. If it is, then you’ve got to make that call.<br><br>“It will probably come down to having a one-on-one with the coach and seeing where you’re at when the time comes.”<br><br>Price will have surgery this Friday after discovering that he has a detached retina from an eye injury he received against Cronulla in Round 13 and said it was highly unlikely he would be fit in time for the Kangaroos tour.<br><br>“It’s very disappointing,” he said. “I really wanted to play against the Bulldogs this week and then against Melbourne for Stacey’s last game but I guess it’s not to be.”<br><br>However, Price rejected suggestions he was under pressure to retire from rep football and said the issue had yet to be raised with him.<br><br>“We have a review at the end of the season and Ivan might talk to me about it them but he hasn’t said anything to me yet,” Price said.<br><br>“At the moment it’s just the media speculating – it’s not something that has ever crossed my mind.”<br>