Rugby League


Canberra Raiders prop Brett White to decide playing future within month

Veteran Canberra Raiders prop Brett White will decide within a month whether he retires after this season as the club continues to lock up its front row talent. 

The Raiders' aggressive retention spree continued with the re-signing of rookie prop Shannon Boyd for another three years on Wednesday, while last week's match-winning hero Paul Vaughan is contracted until the end of next year. 

Canberra has also re-signed front rower Dane Tilse for the next two seasons and David Shillington is contracted for 2015, adding to White's urgency to decide. 

Describing 21-year-old Boyd and Vaughan, 23, as the club's future, White conceded that D-day on his own futureis looming after a decade in the NRL. 

The former Australia and NSW representative said it would be unfair on the Raiders to dwell on it much longer as clubs look to shore up their rosters for next season. 

Asked whether he intends to make a call within a month, the Raiders vice-captain said: "I suppose I will have to, just for the club to know where things are at. 


"The body is going really well and I'm enjoying my football, do I want to finish like this, or go again?

"I don't want to leave it too late, I haven't decided one way or the other. It's up to the club and myself what we want to do,'' White said.

Boyd and Vaughan have made big impacts since bursting into first grade, and Vaughan is considered a potential selection bolter for Country when the team is named this Sunday. 

"It's a great thing for the club to lock those guys in, they are definitely the future,'' White said. "They're competitive within the front rower's group and want to work hard, listen and learn.''

White's decision could have a flow-on effect on whether fellow veteran prop Tom Learoyd-Lahrs, off-contract after this season, remains at Canberra. 

Learoyd-Lahrs is holding off contract talks until he returns to first-grade, but admits Tilse and Boyd's re-signings make it tougher to remain at the Raiders. 

Learoyd-Lahrs, 28, has played 109 games for the Raiders since joining the club in 2006, but the former Kangaroos and NSW representative hasn't been able to force his way into the NRL side this year.

He missed the start of the season with torn ligaments in his foot, but has gained valuable game time and match fitness for Mounties in the NSW Cup.

Learoyd-Lahrs is yet to begin talks with the Raiders and is keeping his focus on getting back to his best form after a terrible run of injuries in the past couple of seasons.

''With those boys re-signing it probably makes it a little bit more difficult I guess, but that's footy,'' Learoyd-Lahrs said.

''I've been in that position before and I've been in their shoes, too, when I've re-signed and it makes it harder for the older blokes.

"I've had some chats with Ricky [Raiders coach Ricky Stuart] about where I'm at, and we both agreed that it'd be better to wait until I play in first-grade and see how I'm travelling.''

Learoyd-Lahrs said Vaughan and Boyd deserved their spots in first-grade after making the most of their opportunities this season.

''For me, I feel good physically and I'm pretty happy with how I'm going,'' Learoyd-Lahrs said.

''I've been playing some good footy and getting some good minutes and getting some match fitness under my belt. I'm just working hard to getting back and I'm definitely heading in the right direction,'' he said.


NRL round eight: Manly Sea Eagles v Canberra Raiders at Brookvale Oval, 2pm

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