Sonny Bill Williams has the left the door ajar on a NRL return and has the code's bosses backing should he wish to have a third stint in rugby league.
Williams will leave the Roosters at the end of this season linking back with New Zealand rugby for the next two years. He will be 31 when his next contract expires.
"It is my last year at the Roosters ... for now," Williams said.
"Last year when I came back to the game I didn't think I would be staying for two years or winning a competition. So anything is possible.
"It just comes down to hard work and that self-belief. Of course there is always a chance [I will return] but I am 29 now.
"My missus always says I am getting older and older. She has to put those baths on for me after games now. I am not too sure how long I will be running around.
"I can assure you no matter how long I am or when I am running around I will be giving it 120 per cent.
"I want to have a big end to the year, not just for myself and my family, but for the boys because I love it here. The boys are pretty much like brothers now."
Williams returned to rugby league for the first time since 2008 last year with a point to prove. More than showing he could still dominate the game on the field, Williams wanted to silence his critics off it too.
"It took me a few months to get back into the groove again last year," Williams said.
"But I have really enjoyed my time back here. Not just on the field but off it as well, I feel I have earned a lot of respect back and that was probably one of the main things I wanted to do - not just play good consistent footy but earn a bit of respect back from the footy community. I feel like I have achieved that."
NRL chief executive Dave Smith said Williams would be welcome back to the code after his contract with rugby union ends. While Williams' relationship with former Canterbury boss Todd Greenberg was strained after Williams walked out on the club, Greenberg - now the NRL's head of football - also wants Williams to return.
"His maturity is unbelievable," Greenberg said. "He is an amazing athlete and an amazing person. He is a fantastic person to have in the game."
Williams remains sidelined with a broken thumb but will return before the finals as he hopes to lead the Roosters to consecutive premierships. His return could be the tonic to spark the Roosters back to life with the side struggling to capture the same fluency it had during the surge to last year's premiership.
"I am on schedule but it's just trying to get the strength back," Williams said.
"It's frustrating but I have just turned it into a positive and looking to come back fitter and stronger than when I got injured.
"The boys after an indifferent season this year - it has been pretty tough, up and down - but the boys are on the right path.
"The effort is there but each week we're playing a team that is playing their best footy against us."
- Sydney Morning Herald
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