Queensland's skipper Daly Cherry-Evans is committed to staying in the State of Origin arena, with no intentions of stepping away.

Rugby league Immortal Andrew Johns believes that the Manly star has the potential to make NRL history by playing beyond the age of 40.

This determination and attitude aligns with the prediction made by Rugby League Immortal Andrew Johns, who believes Cherry-Evans has the potential to make NRL history by playing until he reaches the age of 40.

The Manly halfback has begun the season in outstanding form, guiding the Sea Eagles to a top-four position after eight rounds.

It's been 13 years since a youthful Cherry-Evans helped secure the 2011 premiership in his inaugural NRL season, marking the last time the Sea Eagles celebrated championship glory.

Cherry-Evans is fueled by a passionate determination to secure another premiership, driving him forward in the later stages of his career.

Despite being 35 years old, Cherry-Evans displays no indications of giving in to the effects of age or diminishing performance.

His level of play has been exceptional this season, prompting Johns to speculate that he could continue playing at a high level for another five years.

GOSFORD, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 09: Daly Cherry-Evans celebrates his field goal and the win with team mates during the round five NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Manly Sea Eagles at Central Coast Stadium, on April 09, 2021, in Gosford, Australia. (Photo by Ashley Feder/Getty Images)

Paul Gallen, the former captain of Cronulla, holds the distinction of being the oldest player in the NRL era. He played for the Sharks at the age of 38 in 2019, setting a notable record for longevity in the league.

Following Cherry-Evans' standout performance in the victory over the Eels last Friday, Johns voiced his belief that Cherry-Evans has the potential to etch his name in NRL history by becoming the first player to reach the age of 40 while still actively competing in the league.

“That pass from Cherry-Evans has made my weekend. That's as good as it gets,” Johns said on Channel 9.

“He's still got his speed. He's getting better.

“He has to play for another two or three years. He may play until he's 40.”

Achieving such a milestone would require Cherry-Evans to continue playing until 2029, which would mark an astonishing 19th NRL season for him—a remarkable feat indeed.

Drawing comparisons, Melbourne legend Cameron Smith's notable career saw him play until the age of 37, accumulating an NRL record of 430 games across his 19 seasons.

Despite his impressive 22 Origin appearances, Cherry-Evans seems relieved by his recent surge in form during the later stages of his career and has no plans to step down from wearing the Maroons jersey.

2023 State of Origin - NSW v QLD: Game 3
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 12: Daly Cherry-Evans of the Maroons and teammates celebrate with the State of Origin Shield after game three of the State of Origin series between New South Wales Blues and Queensland Maroons at Accor Stadium on July 12, 2023 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

“At this stage of my career, I'm not ready to say no to Origin,” Daly-Cherry Evans said to The Daily Telegraph.

“I get that it can change. I don't know if it's your mind or body that tells you. Right now, I don't have either of those telling me to stop playing.

“I'll be playing my best for Manly to hopefully get picked for Queensland this year.

“I try to look after myself. Playing in this competition is tough. Week-to-week, I've got to put the work in. It doesn't just happen.

“You play sore, injured and busted in the NRL. You've got to do your best to feel as close to 100 per cent as you can.

“There's a lot of work that goes into a week. It's not just me, most of the guys are putting in the work, especially the boys over 30.”

In just a month, Queensland coach Billy Slater will finalise his team for Game One of the Origin series, scheduled for June 5 in Sydney.

Cherry-Evans is expected to be the first name on the team sheet, marked with a 'c' as the Maroons aim for a hat-trick of series wins under Slater's leadership.

Despite Queensland's recent dominance in Origin, Cherry-Evans remains committed to the team's refusal to become complacent.


  1. Intelligence, physical expertise and fitness regimes will see many players in many sports play until they know it’s full time. Rod Laver played till mid late 30’s and nowadays a host of athletes, cricketers play beyond usual normal retirement ages because of advancement in training and health regimes.

    The longevity of any physical sport is related to the length and how astute has been that training regime. Too many ambitious sports folk over do the workload and perform in too many competitions too soon or when not fit enough to participate at that level.

    Good diet, healthy life style and a planned training routine including the spelling paddock that suits one’s physique and talent development is better than hours in the gym, limiting aerobics and synchronise with a harmonious Life.

    This is reflected when we get injured or age and end up in theatre with anaethetist telling the surgeon that this patient is cruising through a 4 hour procedure and the recovery swift. Nurses will call for doctor when they see an old git’s pulse rate around 45 or BP 90/60.

    I bowled an over the other week to the Wests scorer after an A grade Final. No pads, no box, no helmet just in sandals saw Aussie Ian put down his pencil, pick up a bat and came out to face me in a “one over” Test between England and OZ.

    Our combined age is 148.

    Rugby is far more demanding than 99% of sports because of fast smart n crash physical play. As individuals we get to learn to do what is right to look after ourselves as we age and certainly our zest will dismiss any botheration about age.

    Should have bowled the old git a yorker……

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