Chris McQueen will lace up the boots in Las Vegas and kickstart rugby league in the United States, but it won't be for the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

A former premiership winner with the Rabbitohs, McQueen has been named to take part in the NRL Vegas 9s competition for the Brooklyn Kings. Run by the NRL, the tournament will be played on March 2, ahead of the double-header at Allegiant Stadium.

Aiming to grow the game outside of Australia, England, France and New Zealand, the forward revealed that he had paid close attention to the growth of rugby league in North America.

Revealed to be joining the Kings in their 10th anniversary year, it is understood that he has been communicating with the team through WhatsApp.

The Brooklyn Kings were established in 2014 by duo Matt Bailey and Justin Coffman and won the USARL Championships final in 2019 but were unable to defend their title due to COVID - the competition would dissolve after the outbreak.

“I think the whole Vegas thing is great for the game,” McQueen said, per

“As rugby league players, we have been talking for years - and you keep hearing stories coming out of the US - about the competition starting and that sort of thing.

“A couple of years ago, there were a few teams popping up on social media and they were talking about a competition.

"I followed a couple of the teams but I remember seeing that the competition got delayed and it doesn't seem like it eventuated.

“I guess that's the plan going forward so hopefully it gets a lot of attention while the NRL is in Vegas, and it does big things for the game over there.

“Anything to get the game promoted over there and to hopefully one day to build a comp, because the more comps there are around the world, and the more money, the bigger and better it is going to be.”

Announcing his retirement at the end of last season, McQueen spent 12 seasons in the NRL for the South Sydney RabbitohsGold Coast Titans and Wests Tigers before making a move overseas to play for the Huddersfield Giants in the English Super League.

Mainly playing for the Rabbitohs during his time in Australia, he amassed 164 NRL first grade games and 140 points before playing 75 games with Huddersfield since the 2020 season.

He also played six State of Origins for Queensland in 2013 and 2014 and also played for the Prime Minister's XIII on two occasions.

In 2017, he played a single Test for England.