NRL Rd 20 - Warriors v Raiders
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 02: Gerard Beale of the Warriors watches on during the round 20 NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Canberra Raiders at Mt Smart Stadium on August 02, 2019 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Gerard Beale is hopeful that although this weekend’s game might be his last for the New Zealand, it won’t be his last game as a professional.

Beale, 30, hasn’t played since round eight against the Roosters, but is set to make a return this weekend.

Beale is getting his chance back in the team as the Eels wouldn’t release loan player George Jennings for the game and Patrick Herbert is injured.

With both likely to return for the final three games of the season, this could be Beale’s final game with the club.

Beale has had two significant injuries in recent times which has immensely affected his output. In the 2017 World Cup, he fractured his leg while representing New Zealand.

In 2019, he fractured his knee cap leading into this season and hasn’t been able to get himself right.

After falling out of favour with interim coach Tom Payten, Beale said not playing again has crossed his mind, but is looking forward to playing this weekend.

“It did cross my mind,” Beale told Stuff. 

“But I’m lucky I get to go back out there this week, which is good and I’m looking forward to it.”

Beale added that although it’s been tough, he’s been ready to step in whenever he could.

“It is hard, but in saying that, there are other players in the squad that aren’t getting an opportunity,” he said.

“But you’ve got to stay ready and when the opportunity presents itself, you jump straight into it.”

With the Warriors opting to go with a youth movement, Payten told Beale that was the main reason for him not being selected, something the veteran would just have to accept.

“It was a tricky one,” he said.

“He did have a conversation, he wanted to give some of the younger boys a run and credit to those boys, because they’ve got tremendous talent and they’re certainly showing what they can do. It’s a tough one, but it’s the environment we’re in.”

Beale is hopeful that he can continue his football career after the completion of this season.

“I’m still open and going through that now,” he said.

“I’m still keen to keep playing. I supposed it’s a tricky situation and it’s not like any other year because there’s a lot going on.

“I’m also taking a look into what’s next for Gerard Beale past football. It is getting close, but hopefully not just yet.”