NRL 2021: Retiring Gold Coast Titans winger Anthony Don makes selfless admission
Retiring Titans winger Anthony Don says he is not concerned by the possibility of missing out on what could be his last opportunity to play in the NRL.
Don has not been selected in Gold Coast’s first grade side since round 12, and with the Titans’ finals destiny set to be determined by other teams’ results, round 25 could well be the 33-year-old’s last chance to make it back into the 17.
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Don has been named in the extended squad to face the Warriors on Sunday, and while he says “it’d be a dream” to be called up at the last minute, he understands if he is once again overlooked for selection.
“The boys have got their spots and they’ve been playing really well all season,” Don said on Thursday.
“It wouldn’t be fair if they put me in just because it’s my last game. I’m sure the coaching staff are thinking along the same lines.”
Don played 16 of 20 games in Justin Holbrook’s first year as head coach, but since the midway point of this season, the Titans supremo has favoured combinations of Philip Sami, Greg Marzhew and Corey Thompson on the wings.
Don said his relegation from the first grade side was a reflection of the Titans’ roster depth.
“Even Greg (Marzhew) is not in the team at the moment. We’ve all seen how good he’s been playing in the past month, or the past six weeks, since he’s debuted,” Don said.
“He’s one of the strongest ball carriers in the comp. At the moment, he’s sitting out as well.
“We’ve got Phil (Sami) and Corey Thompson, they’ve both got really good experience.
“The outside backs are in safe hands at the Titans.”
Don, who has scored more tries for the Titans than any other player, said he expected Sunday to be an emotional day regardless of whether he played.
“Possibly Sunday I might get a bit teary, I don’t know,” he said.
“I’m a pretty emotional type of bloke, so wait and see.”
A qualified PE teacher, Don said he hoped to juggle his passions for rugby league and education in retirement.
“I’ve obviously started thinking about what I’m going to do for work next year because the pay cheque will stop coming in very shortly,” Don said with a laugh.
“I’m definitely going to stay involved with rugby league as much as possible.
“There’s some good schools on the Gold Coast … I was a teacher before I played for the Titans, so hopefully (I’ll) do some teaching with some junior sport and definitely stay around the club as much as possible.
“We haven’t really worked out exactly what that looks like but hopefully I’ll be around in some capacity.”
Originally published as NRL 2021: Retiring Gold Coast Titans winger Anthony Don makes selfless admission
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