Jamal Idris has returned to the NRL – and he can’t wait to get back into it. The giant centre spent 2016 travelling the globe, some fearing he may never return to the game. But he’s proved those doubters wrong by signing a one-year deal with the Wests Tigers, and now he’s ready to prove those that doubt his on-field ability wrong.
But he’s proved those doubters wrong by signing a one-year deal with the Wests Tigers, and now he’s ready to prove those that doubt his on-field ability wrong.
Idris will return to first-grade football after a 692-day absence from the NRL in Round 1 next season, his last game for Penrith in the April of 2015, ending in a torn ACL for the centre. The knee reconstruction ended Idris’ Penrith career, and after he announced he would walk around from the NRL, it could’ve possibly ended his first-grade career.
A glittering NRL career, Idris played 131 NRL games for the Bulldogs, the Titans and the Panthers, even starting a promising representative career. Idris has played one game for Australia as well as one game for New South Wales, but those matches were in 2011 and 2010 respectively. In fact, since departing the Bulldogs at the end of 2011, the only rep football Idris has played was for Country.
Before even thinking about rep football, Idris will be focused on nailing down a starting spot in the Wests Tiger’s team. Internationals Tim Simona and Kevin Naiqama have had the centre spots at the Tigers locked down for the last two years, while Jordan Rankin and David Nofoaluma have a mortgage on the wing spots. But with recent rumours suggesting Kevin Naiqama may depart the club for a Super League berth, it would open the door wide open for Idris to claim West’s right centre spot.
One positive for Idris heading into Round 1 is that the spotlight won’t be firmly on him, with the clash against the Rabbitohs pitting former Tiger Robbie Farah against coach Jason Taylor for the first time since Farah’s bitter exit from the club.
The Wests Tigers will face the South Sydney Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium on Friday, March 3rd at 8pm, a blockbusting start to Idris’ NRL resurrection.