Josh Mansour has his sights set on a return to the NRL after featuring for the Newtown Jets in a pre-season match, revealing he is still chasing a top-level contract.

Mansour played 174 games across his league career, featuring for both Penrith and South Sydney, before being left without a contract at the end of last season. In 2022, the 32-year-old managed just five games for the Rabbitohs, scoring two tries.

Despite not having a contract with the NRL season just weeks away from kicking off, Mansour is confident his stint with the Jets, who are associated with Cronulla, will serve as an NRL lifeline.

“There's nothing official just yet, but I'll hopefully get all that wrapped up next week and we'll go from there,” Mansour said to CODE Sports.

“I definitely want to get a top 30 contract if I can.

“There's a lot of background chat that I'm trying to block out, but I still love the game and I'm not ready to throw in the towel.”

Mansour's first appearance with the Jets ended in a 42-32 win over the Bulldogs, with the winger admitting to CODE that he had trained with the side just twice before earning a spot.

“There's a connection with George and Mick Habib, and a few of the boys, and they asked me if I wanted to train,” he said.

“I rocked up on Tuesday, and there were a few surprised faces. I don't think anyone expected me to show up, but it was a good week.

“It was the first time I touched the footy in two or three months, so it was a bizarre prep to a game, and I still don't know half the names here, but I'm looking forward to sharing their journey this year.”

Newtown will begin their season against South Sydney on Saturday, March 4 at Henson Park, while the NRL season will kick off with a match between the Eels and Storm on Thursday, March 2.