The end is nigh for Sam Thaiday - or is it?
In a surprise backflip, veteran forward Thaiday says he has not given up on playing another NRL season for Brisbane.
The off-contract 32-year-old had announced 2018 would be his 16th and final NRL season after coach Wayne Bennett told Thaiday he was not in his future plans.
But Thaiday said on Tuesday he would by vying for a contract extension with a big 2018 starting with Brisbane's NRL trial against Gold Coast Titans at Toowoomba on Saturday night.
Thaiday was on Tuesday named Broncos skipper for the trial.
"You have to wait and see, you never know," Thaiday said of his future.
"Miracles happen in rugby league. Contracts are thrown around willy nilly these days.
"Over the last couple of years I have set up myself for life after footy.
"I just want to make sure my transition is good if it comes this year or if it comes next year we will see what happens."
Thaiday currently sits on 279 games and will push toward Brisbane's elite 300-game club in 2018, behind only Darren Lockyer (355 games) and Corey Parker (347).
The former Test backrower said he would push for another season - but only at the Broncos.
"That's the plan. It is something taught to me at a young age, to be loyal and stay with one club," he said.
"I could never put on a different jersey and play against the Broncos."
Thaiday has also not ruled out breaking back into the Queensland side after the 29-game Origin forward was dropped following the Maroons' series-opening thrashing from NSW last year.
"I am always a hope. I can only play well for the Broncos - that's the only way I can get selected," he said.
First Thaiday has to work out where he fits into a new-look Broncos pack that will be without Adam Blair, Herman Ese'ese and Jai Arrow in 2018.
Thaiday did not mind filling the gaping front row void created by Kiwi captain Blair's departure.
"I am sure I won't be playing long minutes there but if it is a job I have to do for the team I am more than happy to do it," he said.
Thaiday will this weekend lead a Broncos side without skipper Darius Boyd (hamstring) and rested playmaker Anthony Milford.
Former Wests Tigers prop Matt Lodge will make his Broncos debut and ex-Queensland winger Corey Oates is on the bench as a backrower.
© AAP 2018