BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 25: Kade Snowden of the Blues takes on the defence during game one of the ARL State of Origin series between the Queensland Maroons and the New South Wales Blues at Suncorp Stadium on May 25, 2011 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Ex-NRL star Kade Snowden was medically retired four years ago due to a serious neck injury, but could be set for a shock return.

He recently signed with the Northern Lakes Warriors in the Central Coast competition. However, before he makes the leap up to first grade, will need to prove he is not a safety risk to insurers, who knocked back a previous registration attempt last year.

Widely considered one of the game's leading front rowers when playing his best footy, injuries restricted him to just 174 NRL games.

After he retired, Snowden was paid out the remainder of his contract, which didn't expire until the end of 2017. The Knights didn't have to include the payments in their salary cap.

And now, Snowden is now trying to secure his path back into the NRL.

"We are aware he has requested a clearance to Northern Lakes, but he would have to satisfy conditions set by the insurers before he would be able to be registered," a NSWRL spokesperson told The Daily Telegraph. 

Several teams have raised concerns about Snowden's possible return, given attempts to register Richie Fa'aoso – who also retired from the NRL due to neck injuries – were knocked back.

Warriors coach Jayson Mackenzie is hopeful the clearance can be given the tick of approval given the excitement about Snowden's mooted return in the local league.
"The traction we've got is unbelievable," Mackenzie said. "We've had a few players jump back on board with us.

"A bloke who has done it his whole life, it's not an easy thing to walk away from. You get given an opportunity to have another run and of course you have a crack and take it with both hands.

"It's like riding a bike for these guys, especially for a guy like Kade. He's played for NSW and Australia, you don't lose too much of a step; he'll fall back into it like he'd never left."

The competition is due to kick off next week but the Warriors have the bye, giving them an extra week to finalise Snowden's clearance.


  1. Personally there is no way I would risk damaging my neck again. Kade Snowden is fortunate that he has recovered and can live a normal life again, but don’t play Rugby League or any other heavy contact sport.

    He must be around 30 by now, so what is there left to prove?

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