2012 NRL Ashley Graham beats the tackle of Josh Mansour to score during the NRL Round 11 match between North Queensland Cowboys and Penrith Panthers (AAP - AUSTRALIA ONLY) - Eurosport
 
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Graham signs new Cowboys deal

Graham signs new Cowboys deal

By Eurosport
Last update The 20/06/2012 at 07:04 -
By Eurosport - The 20/06/2012 at 07:04
Retirement should be the last thing on Ash Graham's mind.
 

But the NRL's leading try-scorer did not rule out hanging up the boots at the end of 2013 after signing on for another season with North Queensland.

Cowboys football manager Peter Parr was confident the 28-year-old winger would remain at the club "for some time to come" after stitching up the one-year contract extension.

And why not? Graham is in career-best form, leading the NRL with 13 tries in 14 games to date.

He was also considered for the Queensland team before being pipped by Cowboys teammate Brent Tate ahead of the opening State of Origin match.

However, Graham sounded like a man winding down his career when he announced his re-signing.

"I will try and put in another good year, look at my career and see how I am feeling then," said Graham, who has played 178 NRL games.

"I am not going to announce now that I am going to retire (at the end of 2013) - a year is a long time in footy."

There was one big box to tick before walking away from the game for Graham - and it wasn't an Origin debut.

Asked what he would prefer to have achieved before retiring - a Queensland call-up or a premiership - Graham said: "Premiership, hands down.

"Playing Origin would be awesome - I would be over the moon but, first and foremost, I want to win a maiden premiership for the Cowboys."

And he might just get his wish - the Cowboys (6th; 8-6 record) are buzzing ahead of Saturday night's clash with Canberra following their 12-0 last-round win over third-placed Brisbane.

"There's a good feeling around the place and that's what you need if you want to go places in this competition," Graham said.

Graham's retirement was clearly not on Parr's agenda.

"There's no doubt that Ash has been in career-best form for the Cowboys over the past two seasons," he said.

"He's been with the club for seven seasons now and continues to improve.

"At 28, we're sure Ash is going to be a contributor for the Cowboys for some time to come."

Asked how he would rate his form, Graham said: "It's up there".

 
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