NATHAN Bright says the decision to retire or play on was a lot tougher than he had expected.
The inspirational Steamers captain will take up the reins again this year after many had predicted his retirement following last year’s unbeaten season and grand final victory.
But the big No.8 said the intense focus on last year’s premiership had left him without a clear plan for his playing career.
The Steamers start their season today with a grand final replay against Waratahs in Wagga.
“We were just so determined to win the premiership after the previous year’s disappointment that I hadn’t really thought it through,” he said.
“So when it came time to make that decision, it was really tough.
“In the end my family was supportive, the club was great and the fact that we had such a strong group still at the club made it easy to go around again.
“This will be my last year but I want to go out on a winning note — the decision is made and I can just focus on rugby.”
Bright believes the development of players within the club and off season recruits will make the Steamers a force again this year.
“We had such a strong reserve grade last year with many of those players coming in and out of first grade on a regular basis and proving they were more than capable of playing at that level,” he said.
“Then there is a group of players that have come to the Steamers this year who have been very impressive in training and the trials.”
Bright said the clash against Waratahs would be a solid test.
“Certainly the talk is that they have recruited well and they looked good in the pre-season tournament last weekend,” he said.
“But we have a blend of youth, experience and talent that will give them a run for their money.”