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Cherry-Evans confident of playing 'late into my 30s'

Daly Cherry-Evans reaches double-figures this year.

The 2020 Telstra Premiership season will be the halfback's 10th in first grade.

And he's only halfway through his eight-year, $10 million contract, that began in 2016 after he back-flipped on the Titans the previous year.

But since he only started in the NRL in 2011, he will be 35 when his current deal expires.

So does that mean we're seeing the last years of Cherry-Evans? Or will the incumbent Queensland and Australian halfback look to extend?

"I definitely do think about it and I'd love to play this game for as long as I can because of no other reason than I love what I'm doing right now," Cherry-Evans said.

"I genuinely enjoy coming to training. And I really enjoy the competitive side of the game come game day.

Episode 1 - Daly Cherry-Evans, Cam Murray & Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad

"Based on that I hope I can play late into my 30s. But I am also very realistic, as I've seen teammates with a couple of years to go in their contracts, done before the year is out.

"If there's ever a situation where I have to not look too far ahead but just stay in the moment, it's my rugby league career.

"If I get to a point where I'm even looking to re-sign or play on then that's a great outcome.

"But only if I'm still up to it physically and playing at a high level."

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He'll be the Greta Garbo of rugby league.

"A hundred per cent," Cherry-Evans said, proving he also wants to go out on a high like the famous 1930s Hollywood actress.

"I'd love to keep playing longer than my current contract but I'm not looking that far ahead."

Cherry-Evans has seen too many times how the physical side of the game takes its toll.

"I do because I've seen more so than ever, people being medically retired. It's crazy, just crazy," he said.

"I must admit though I'm not in the same physicality as a Matt Gillett or Sam Burgess. That part of the game is obviously more forwards."

Cherry-Evans is in awe of Cameron Smith's achievements and has a ways to go to catch the 18-season, 400-plus game veteran.

"Cam is a freak obviously. But the position I play is going to help me. The amount of resources we have at our disposal as a player (for recovery) is more than ever," he said.

"So I am confident I can see out my contract. I definitely see that as a realistic goal but again, it's not something I'll think too much about.

"I just want to enjoy year 10 for what it's worth."

Soward's Say: 2020 Sea Eagles

Could be worth quite a bit under coach Des Hasler.

Back in 2004 he took Manly from 13th that year to the qualifying finals in 2005. They were in a grand final two years later.

In 2018 Manly finished 15th but Hasler returned in 2019 and they reached the semi-finals. Does this mean a grand final appearance next year?

That could come a year earlier if the punters are right. Several betting agencies have Manly fourth favourite to make the October 4 grand final this year after the Roosters, Storm and Raiders.