Retirement may have been an option, but seriously, where do old rugby players go when they retire? When grey starts to creep into the hair of an All Black, do they quietly fade away and meander towards a secret rugby player graveyard?
That time, apparently, is not yet here for Kiwi captain Kieran Read, as it is widely considered a foregone conclusion that he will resign with New Zealand Rugby and see to the end the path that he chose beginning in November of 2008, when he first appeared in a test against Scotland.
At 31 years of age, Read is not done yet, but it is safe to say that there is more history than future for the All Blacks No 8, but barring the unforeseen, he should soon see the occasion of his 100th test.
He has committed to New Zealand Rugby until after the 2019 World Cup. By the time that event comes around, Read, born in Papakura, will be 33.
The All Blacks have taken measure to secure their core group, gaining commitments from Ben Smith, Brodie Retallick, Julian Savea, Beauden Barrett and Same Whitelock for at least until after the 2019 World Cup in Japan, where 20 nations will vie for top honours from September 20 to November 2.