ENGLAND’S elder statesman and Warrington Wolves captain Adrian Morley is aiming to end his 17-year international career at the 2013 World Cup.
But the 35-year-old veteran of more than 50 international appearances for both Great Britain and England - making him the most experienced England international still playing - admitted that time may well be against him as he battles to recapture his best form after a difficult year.
“To play at the World Cup is a definite ambition for me, but to be honest if all the England front rowers were fit at the minute I’m not 100 percent sure that I would be selected,” said the Wolves skipper, who spent months battling neck and eye injuries that threatened to end his playing career at the end of 2011 and the start of 2012.
“People have asked, with Jamie Peacock retiring, whether I will too and the pressure is building for me to do the same.
“But I have got that voice on my shoulder saying that my club form will improve next year and that I should make myself available.
“I have always said that I will never retire, that it is your duty to play for your country if you are called to do so.
“If it comes to the point where I am not selected because I am not playing well enough, I am man enough to take it on the chin.
“But I have thought about it, and I am going to go for it.”
One of his main competitors for an England call-up next October is likely to be his Wolves teammate Chris Hill, whom he started alongside during the 80-12 demolition of Wales two weeks ago.
Morley hopes that competition between himself and teammates Hill, Garreth Carvell and Ben Harrison will spur him on over the course of the 2013 season, and is optimistic that an injury-free year will propel him back to the levels of performance he expects of himself.
“Chris is one of my main rivals not just for England but for Wolves, too,” he said.
“I am very proud of Chris and it is a strange bond you have with your fellow props. You try and help each other out but you want each other’s spot at the end of the day.
“I am expecting to turn my form around with Warrington next year and then the World Cup will take care of itself. It is a long way away and it will be tough, but not out of the question.”