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‘Fearful of retirement’: Warren to make call on future in coming weeks

Nine are yet to formalise their official league line-up for the 2021 NRL season, and Warren knows he will need to give an answer in the coming weeks. For the first time, he stopped short of declaring he is a certainty to be heard in 2021.

“I’m fearful of retirement because you don’t know what it is like until you dip your toe in the water, but then I’m fearfully protective of the good run I’ve been given and I don’t want to damage whatever reputation I may have built,” Warren told the Herald.

Phil Gould's on-air chemistry with Ray Warren is infectious.

Phil Gould’s on-air chemistry with Ray Warren is infectious.Credit:ninevms

“That’s pretty much your equation right there. I go from year to year, I know I’m getting older, and I don’t want make a fool of myself and undo what I might have done.

“I’ve had a really good run, that run has lasted 55 years. I’ve told Nine I’ll take the summer to make up my mind. I do still enjoy it, and anyone who works with me will tell you that – I still get excited.”

It is well documented Warren has a fear of flying, and tries to avoid covering interstate games when possible. He also continues to battle with nerves in the days leading up to games, something that has gradually worsened over the years.

“I don’t know whether it is nerves or fear,” he said.

Ray Warren with Channel Nine colleagues Warren Ryan, Darrell Eastlake, Ken Sutcliffe and Michael Cleary in 1989.

Ray Warren with Channel Nine colleagues Warren Ryan, Darrell Eastlake, Ken Sutcliffe and Michael Cleary in 1989. Credit:Fairfax Media

Matt Thompson has been Warren’s understudy for a few years, while Peter Psaltis, who is based in Brisbane and sounds eerily similar to Thompson, was regularly heard last year during matches in Queensland because of COVID.

Nine could yet be tempted to use Warren for big games like Origin. Last year’s decider played at Suncorp Stadium was Warren’s 96th straight interstate fixture, but one he needed to call remotely for the first time in his career from the Sydney studios.

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“The biggest fear I have is to make a mistake and not know you have made it,” Warren said. “It’s all well and good to make a mistake and then go back and correct it. But when you make one and you don’t know, I think that is described as senility.”

The late, great Richie Benaud was still commentating cricket on Nine in his early 80s. Martin Tyler is two years younger than Warren and still has one of the most recognisable voices in English football.

Warren revealed last year during a game how he had had a run-in with US rap megastar Snoop Dogg on a flight, which became one of the most-read stories on the Herald website in 2020.

“I’m more filthy on Snoop now because he didn’t ask me to take part in those Menulog ads,” Warren quipped on Thursday. “I’m ready for a re-match.”

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