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Nathan Hindmarsh very nearly got away with it.<br><br>With all this talk about a State of Origin recall – and even the potential for NSW captaincy – the veteran Parramatta forward believed the scribes had forgotten all about the fact that he had actually announced his retirement from representative football late last year.<br><br>Not quite.<br><br>“Yeah, I think I did say I was going to retire, but I never got around to putting in my formal letter,” Hindmarsh chuckled when contacted by today. “I was hoping it would all just fade away into the background.”<br><br>As it turns out, the decision to retire was a spontaneous one Hindmarsh made in consultation with partner Bonnie just a few days after he was named in Australia’s Four Nations squad last October.<br><br>Having fallen out of favour with selectors since his previous Test appearance in 2007, Hindmarsh announced that the Four Nations tournament would double as his representative farewell, insisting that he wanted to go out on his own terms.<br><br>“But I enjoyed the tour so much that I thought to myself ‘You know what? I don’t even think I will retire’.<br><br>“It’s hard to walk away from it because you never know when you’re going to get an opportunity.<br><br>“I’ll just play it by ear – but I don’t think I’ll ever officially put in a letter now.”<br><br>Hindmarsh’s representative exile in recent years had baffled many – primarily because there was no obvious dip in form to bring about his demise – yet his return could prove even more spectacular.<br><br>Incredibly, should he earn a recall to the NSW side in 2010, he would also stand as a genuine contender for the captaincy as the young squad struggles to find an option with suitable experience.<br><br>Hindmarsh was playing down the captaincy issue today but said he certainly had one eye on a 17th Blues jersey.<br><br>“It would mean a lot,” he confirmed. “I haven’t played Origin for two years now and everyone wants to play it. <br><br>“It would be a massive thing to get back into the team but I guess we’ll have to wait and see.<br><br>“There are a lot of good back-rowers out there.”<br><br>Hindmarsh said the more pressing issue was helping Parramatta overcome the early-match jitters that have plagued the opening two rounds of the competition.<br><br>Despite their incredible comeback from 20-0 down against Manly last Sunday and an opening round loss to St George Illawarra in which they trailed 12-0 before again fighting back, the 30-year-old insisted the pressure was still on last season’s grand finalists to tear apart most opposition.<br><br>“Some people are expecting us to win every single game this year so there is still a lot of pressure there,” he said.<br><br>“That pressure is going to be there every week I think but we need to improve a lot on what we’ve shown so far.<br><br>“We seem to like to warm into games but you can’t do that in the NRL.<br><br>“Last year we got away with it but this year I don’t think we’re going to.<br><br>“We don’t want to rely on winning our last eight or nine games again, so we really need to start a lot better than we have been.”<br><br>Having already played two blockbusters to open the season, the Eels travel to the Sydney Football Stadium this Friday night to face another dangerous rival in Wests Tigers.<br><br>The two teams played one of the games of the year in 2009, with a piece of Jarryd Hayne brilliance deciding the outcome in the dying stages, but coach Daniel Anderson said the Eels would have to lift against the Wests Tigers – who scored a staggering 42 tries from beyond the 20-metre line last season and 14 from their own side of halfway.<br><br>“I didn’t know that stat but it doesn’t surprise me,” Anderson said.<br><br>“They’ve already scored a few like that this year which shows that they’ve got lots of strike.<br><br>“They chance their arm, they play footy and they’re an entertaining side to watch so we just have to go out there and do our best to stop them.”
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