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‘I’ve got nothing to prove’: Wighton won’t backflip on retirement call in another blow for the Blues

Martin Gabor -

Jack Wighton has slammed the door shut on a possible return to the State of Origin arena, declaring "I've got nothing to prove" after he decided it was in everyone's best interests if he put all his energy into trying to save South Sydney's season.

The decision is yet another blow for rookie Blues coach Michael Maguire, who has already lost Nathan Cleary, Tom Trbojevic and Cam Murray to injury in recent weeks.

Wighton, 31, announced his retirement from the representative arena last year but was firmly in Maguire's sights given his ability to play in the centres or as a powerful running five-eighth.

Tuesday's announcement means the former Dally M winner finishes with 10 Origin appearances for NSW.

There were rumours Jack Wighton could return with Brad Fittler no longer coach, but the Souths star has chosen not to backflip on his retirement call. Picture. Phil Hillyard

There were rumours Jack Wighton could return with Brad Fittler no longer coach, but the Souths star has chosen not to backflip on his retirement call. (Image: Phil Hillyard)

"I've been in chats with 'Madge', but I've been trying to put a focus on keeping my body together for Souths," Wighton said.

"As everyone knows, we're in a bit of a rut, so my main focus is here.

"There are plenty of young kids that will do the Blues proud and do a great job there, so I'll stick with my position of staying retired and leaving it up to the young fellas to fly the flag.

"I'm just trying to put my best foot forward for Souths and I want to do everything I can to get things rolling here and back on a winning streak.

"I just want to keep my body fit to give myself the best chance to do that."

Wighton's physical traits made him a weapon for the Blues. Picture: Chris Hyde/Getty Images

Wighton's physical traits made him a weapon for the Blues. (Image: Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Wighton said it was nice to be wanted, with calls from fans and former players for him to be picked, and conceded it was a difficult decision to stay retired given how well he has performed for the Blues in the past.

He hasn't officially pulled the pin on returning to the Blues in the future if things get better at club level, but it sounds like his focus is solely on Souths who are bottom of the table in his first season at the club.

"It was definitely (a hard decision)," he said.

"I made that call last year, but Madge and I have a relationship, so at the start of the year we opened up talks again.

"To shut it down is a big call, but I've got nothing to prove. I believe it's in safe hands with the young kids.

"Every year you get older, it gets harder. You're starting to kid yourself if you think you can pull something out.

"I can only focus on the now and what's happening right now."

Martin Gabor - NCA NewsWire

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