Luke Keary has elected to keep reflection to a minimum ahead of his 150th NRL match, with eyes firmly on the prize as he prepares for the back-end of the 2020 NRL Telstra Premiership season.
Since making his debut back in 2013 for the South Sydney Rabbitohs, Keary has always known how to make his presence known in the top grade.
In four seasons at the Roosters, he's steadily improved his game and is now considered a leader on top of being a high quality player at the Club.
Now in his eighth NRL season and arguably in career best form, Keary admits that the 150 game milestone has crept up on him in 2020.
“It kind of snuck up on me a bit,” he said to RoostersTV.
“It’s a cool thing, you reflect a little bit in these times.
“I can’t wait to get out there.”
It's Been Special | Luke Keary
Keary came bursting into the league like a fire cracker back in 2013, coming off the bench to offer his lightning speed and electric ball work for the Rabbitohs.
The rugby league community quickly took notice and conversations started as to when Keary would replace John Sutton as their starting five-eighth alongside Adam Reynolds.
When asked about reflecting on those earlier days as a youngster establishing himself as a first grader, Luke said he was happier to reflect on the last four seasons he’s spent at the Tricolours.
“I still feel like it’s a a bit early,” he said about reflecting on his career.
“It’s 150, which isn't too many.
“Probably (prefer to reflect) more-so on the almost 100 games I’ve played for the Roosters.
“It’s been a really special three to four years now.
“I try not to look back too much, just try to keep my head where my feet are.”
Though he hasn’t spent too much time reflecting on his colourful career to date, he was happy to open up on how attractive it is when you list the accomplishments thus far.
What also requires mentioning alongside achievements are the special people Keary has shared the stage with over his eight seasons in the top grade.
His early years as a first grader saw him playing alongside Adam Reynolds at the Rabbitohs, while his time at the Tricolours had him partnered with Mitchell Pearce for one season and Cooper Cronk for two.
Keary is now clearly relishing the opportunity to take ownership of his position and develop his leadership alongside youngster Kyle Flanagan.
“I’ve been blessed to play with Adam Reynolds, Mitchell Pearce and then Cooper.
“It’s been a good change to have a younger player next to me.
“I wouldn’t say that I’ve mentored him, but I think he’s progressing really well in his game.
“It’s been cool to take on a bit more of a leadership role.
“I’m continually trying to progress myself in my career.”
150 games is no easy feat in the NRL as many players will tell you, but numbers and milestones are just numbers at the end of the day, according to Keary.
While it’s something to acknowledge, there are bigger forces that keep Keary motivated on the biggest stage in rugby league.
“I don’t really think about how many, or if I’m going to get somewhere.
“I’m pretty grateful to be able to play in the NRL, so the amount of games I’m not too fussed about.
“I’m probably more worried about trying to be successful with my time in the game.
“Whether I play for another two, three, four or five years, hopefully I can be more successful every year for the Roosters.”
2020 has certainly been a challenging season in the NRL, but has also come with its share of rewards for those who have taken the challenge on with both hands.
While he started off with a cheeky response when discussing his 2020 campaign, the rewards of being locked in and focused have been clear to see with Keary’s on field performances as well as his attitude off the field.
“Nothing,” he said jokingly when asked what he’s liked about 2020 so far.
“It’s been different, but a big thing has been time spent with family.
“I’ve been able to spend a lot of quality time at home with my wife and my son, who’s now one.
“It’s been awesome and it’s kept me grounded.
“I’m lucky to be at a Club with so many people that are focused and driven.
“It's contagious when you’re at a Club like that.”
Luke Keary Highlights
Keary signed a contract with the Club that will keep him playing in the Tricolours until at least the end of 2024, which Keary says was an easy and uncontested decision.
While it was all handled in a low key fashion, it’s a decision that came with a lot of pride.
“I tried to make it as quiet and as easy as possible.
“Hopefully this is where I’ll finish up, hopefully that contract will take me to the end or close to it.
“I’ve been really happy with my time here, the people that I’ve met.
“There’s not many better places to be in the NRL.”
There’s still some challenges ahead for the Roosters in 2020, but none more exciting than the prospect of the upcoming NRL Finals series.
Keary expressed his excitement, claiming that the back end of the season is always the most exciting part of the year.
We’ve got these three rounds left to really solidify our position, then we’ll have another crack at trying to take it all out.Luke Keary
Keary will take to the field for the 150th time on Saturday night when the Roosters take on the Newcastle Knights at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Match: Roosters v Knights
Round 18 -
Venue: Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney