MIKE Cooper admits he has started to have thoughts about retirement – and he wants to end his career with Warrington Wolves.

The Warrington-born prop turns 31 on Sunday and made his Wire debut back in 2006, meaning this is his 13th season of first-grade rugby league.

It is a career that has seen him represent his country and play in the NRL for St George Illawarra Dragons in between two spells at his hometown club.

While thoughts of hanging up the boots may have entered his head, Cooper insists he is still good for a few more years and wants to quit on his terms.

He also says there may come a point where he needs to move on again to prolong his career, although his preference would be to finish his playing days in primrose and blue.

“Maybe I will be able to play into my late thirties – sport science and training are very different now to when I started,” he said.

“I’ve been doing this for a long time now so we’ll see.

“I am thinking about when I might retire. We’ll see what happens.

“I’d like to go out on my terms when I feel like my body’s had enough. I want to retire myself instead of the game retiring me.

“I’ll do everything I can to make sure my businesses outside the game are doing as well as they possibly can do first.

“As long as I’m still passionate to play and I can still do my job, I’ll stick my hand up to play for this club.

“I’d like to finish here – this place means a lot to me.

“Having said that, I have moved away before and I couldn’t get much further away then.

“You never know – it may come to the club not wanting me in a couple of years so we’ll see.”

The fact Cooper is starting to ponder retirement may come as a surprise to Wire fans, especially given he is enjoying some of the best form of his career of late.

Despite being a cornerstone of the Wolves pack alongside old friend Chris Hill, he continues to be overlooked on the international scene as he was left out of Great Britain’s 29-man performance squad last week.

However, he expressed his delight that fellow Warringtonian Joe Philbin has been included in recognition of his growing influence in the front row.

He joked that he and Hill feel “responsible” for the 24-year-old’s conversion from a second rower to a prop.

“He deserves it and has put a lot of work in,” Cooper said.

“Me and Hilly maybe feel a little bit responsible for him and I hope he’s picked up bits and pieces from us.

“He does a lot of extra training and out-of-hours stuff that people don’t know about. He’s really dedicated himself this year so I’m proud of him.”