SOME of his famous former teammates may have called it a day in the last year, but you won’t find Peter Stringer even entertaining the thought of retirement.
Armed with a new one-year Bath contract signed this week, the 36-year-old Irish scrum-half still retains the zest of his youth when it comes to professional rugby.
Stringer’s Ireland half-back partner Ronan O’Gara hung up his boots last summer, while Brian O’Driscoll signed off as a Six Nations champion last weekend prior to his exit at the end of the season.
Former Munster man Stringer, though, is not yet ready to join them. “I don’t know yet. I’ve been speaking to a lot of guys who have retired for various different reasons, whether their body is a mess or their head has had enough and I think they know leading into the final season when it’s time,’’ he said.
“Speaking to Ronan O’Gara and guys like that they knew when a season was going to be their last, but I’m not at that stage yet and it’s difficult to say how many years it’s going to keep going.
“I’m keen to play as long as I can. I still feel really good and I think I’m still enjoying my rugby – that’s the main thing for me.
“I don’t wake up in the morning feeling sore and dreading coming to training. I’m always keen to learn new things.
“That’s the beauty of the game, it never stands still. It keeps progressing.
“I still feel really young and still don’t see a difference in my attitude from when I started to now. I still have the same drive to want to get up in the morning and train as hard as I can.
“I still want to play at the highest level and by playing regularly here and being part of a successful team.
“My ambition and drive is still the same as back in 1997 when I started professional rugby.’’ Stringer had little hesitation in agreeing an extension to his Bath stay, which started as a loan spell last January.
“It’s nice to put it to bed now after a few weeks of discussions with agents and stuff. It’s nice to put it to the back of my mind and move on with the rest of the season.
“But it’s fantastic and I’ve really enjoyed my time here so far. It’s a really ambitious club as I’ve said before and it’s a good time to be part of a club like that.
“Obviously I’ve worked with Mike (Ford) before and I really respect him as a coach and I’ve always had the open mind that I’ve never been the complete rugby player, like anybody.
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