Bronson Xerri and Michael Jennings have both made their returns to the field after testing positive to banned substances.

A late call-up for the ill Blake Wilson, Bronson Xerri played his first NRL game on Friday night after four and a half years and his first since the 2019 finals series, when he played for the Cronulla Sharks.

Xerri, 23, was one of the most exciting outside backs at the Sharks and was destined for big things after unfortunately testing positive for steroids in late 2019.

Signed by the Bulldogs for this season, the speedster's return comes after multiple weeks in the NSW Cup and will be looking to cement a regular spot in the club's backline.

"It's one of those cool moments in coaching, where you see a guy who's worked so hard," Ciraldo said.

"Bronson has waited a long time for this (and)...He's a really good person.

"And to see the emotion that he went through was one of the moments you cherish as a coach.

"It was good. Maybe these things happen for a reason, he didn't have to have four or five days of speculation over whether he was playing or the attention."

NRL Pre-Season Challenge Rd 1 - Bulldogs v Storm
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 15: Bronson Xerri of the Bulldogs runs the ball during the NRL Pre-season challenge match between Canterbury Bulldogs and Melbourne Storm at Belmore Sports Ground on February 15, 2024 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

Surprisingly, Michael Jennings also made his return back to the NRL in the same game after he was activated as the 18th man following concussions to James Tedesco and Sam Walker.

A former premiership winner, Jennings's appearance was his first since the 2020 finals series for the Parramatta Eels.

The ex-Origin centre tested positive for banned substances later that year and was banned for three years before returning to the Roosters reserve-grade team.

Likely to play game 300 next week against the Newcastle Knights, Jennings was elevated to the club's Top 30 roster last month after signing a train-and-trial contract with them in the pre-season.

"I didn't even know if he'd make the squad to be honest," Trent Robinson said.

"He was on a 14-week trial there and was 10 kilos heavier.

"His purpose is really clear about why he plays the game now, with his family and wanting to rewrite his name in the right way and do the right thing.

"He was great. He's been training that way and nice to see him play. To get out there and show that he's still got gas and he's still got effort."