A great Briton

'Peacock was good enough to play for Australia'

Last Updated: 26/06/12 2:56pm

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Brian Carney believes Jamie Peacock should be regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of British rugby league.

"He stands right up there among the greats that have ever pulled on the Great Britain jersey and there have been some great players in the past."
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The Sky Sports expert was speaking after the England captain announced his decision to retire from international rugby league after winning 22 caps for England and 26 for Great Britain during his 12-year career.

And Carney, who played alongside Peacock for Great Britain, says he is one of the superstars of the modern era and should be remembered as one of the best of all time.

"In recent years he's up among the best," he told Sky Sports News.

"I guess we judge our players in recent years on how the Australians perceive us. They're the best team by a long way and Jamie Peacock was one of those hardened forwards - Adrian Morley would be another example - that the Australians would fear.

"He would probably make the Australian side at his peak and I think that's probably the ultimate tribute to Jamie Peacock.

"He stands right up there among the greats that have ever pulled on the Great Britain jersey and there have been some great players in the past. That's quite an accolade."

Timing

The timing of Peacock's decision has raised a few eyebrows as it comes just over a week before England's second Test against the Exiles.

Steve McNamara's men lead the series 1-0 after their 18-10 victory earlier this month avenged the defeat they suffered in the inaugural International Origin game last summer.

And Carney suspects Peacock would have hung up his international boots sooner were he not driven by a desire to seek revenge for that loss.

He said: "I'm not surprised that he's called time, but I was surprised at the timing of the decision to finish in the middle of this Exiles series.

"But after reading the statement he's released I understand why and it makes perfect sense.

"England lost last year to the Exiles, which was a real blow to the pride of players like Jamie Peacock and he had the chance to set that record straight in the first game of the series this year.

"Reading between the lines, and after reading his press statement, I think Jamie made a decision to retire from international rugby league earlier this year, but really wanted one last crack at the Exiles to set the record straight.

"He did that at St Helens, managed to get that victory, and has decided now that's enough for him on the international stage. He'll focus on the club competition."

Body

The 34-year-old prop will now concentrate on prolonging his club career with Leeds Rhinos and Carney says he may be set to quit the rigours of the sport altogether at the end of next season.

He said: "He plays in a very difficult position. It's very hard to play a lot of games in that position and he has played a lot so far.

"He's got this year and next year at the Leeds Rhinos and only Jamie will know exactly how his body is feeling.

"Watching him play, I would say a year-and-a-half of club rugby might be enough for Jamie. He's been so good for so long at such a high level, it does take its toll on your body. He, more than anybody else, has put his body on the line.

"They've called him the 'ultimate warrior' in tributes that have been paid by people and let me tell you, when you're in the trenches with Jamie Peacock going to play the Australians in a Test match he's exactly who you want to be beside."

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