One of Australia’s most divisive figures Anthony Mundine has a history of making outlandish statements but can he really deliver on his claim to return to the NRL?
Turning 42 years old, Anthony Mundine surely must be kidding when he says he wants to return.
It’s hard to believe this from the outside looking in, and you never want to underestimate what this man can do. Having scored 59 tries in 134 games in the NRL is a significant tally. Mundine has played rep footy as well so it wouldn’t be unfamiliar territory.
So what drives Mundine? There’s no doubt it’s his competitive nature and will to win. He has been on the international boxing stage for over a decade and understands what it takes to succeed.
More often than not, you’d always find him winning events and showing the boxing world how much he really wants it because that’s who he is.
A lot of public perception of Mundine is the notion he is full of talk to the point of arrogance and obnoxiousness but rest assured if you’ve met the man outside of the sport, it’s a completely different man that you will come across puts on.
The hard work and dedication he puts towards boxing, family and his community is something that needs to be seen to be believed.
Having been involved with a club in his local community you guarantee that on any given day he’ll volunteer to come and support his family playing sport no matter when in his schedule.
He always makes time for people whether it’s taking photos or, organising to speak to kids about the important life lessons and most importantly, he shares an unbridled enthusiasm with a large smile on his face doing it.
Commitment, dedication and the will to succeed is what sums up Mundine.
He looks after his body and maintains his physical condition for peak performance.
There’s no doubt he is strong enough to match it with some of the game’s best.
Training regimes would be different but he could adapt to the rigorous training programs.
You’d be stupid to think the game hasn’t changed since he last laced up the boots, but if you want it bad enough you have to get with the times. From a backs perspective, players are a lot faster and agiler which may entice Mundine to approach his training differently.
He already has some of the agility aspects down pat but is he still quick enough to compete? Time will tell.
Boxing and rugby league are two very different sports but there’s no doubt that there would be similarities in some of the training methods. A boxer’s body is leaner than the average football player and that would mean a different diet is needed to put on some extra weight.
NRL clubs will get this professionalism from him if they decide to take the gamble. He would be a perfect fit for a utility option, coming on the field to be a game changer.
It would be hard to imagine which team would take up the services of a 42-year-old, but you’d have to suggest he would be on a trial basis first, a bit like David Taylor at the Raiders and then go from there.
The amount the salary cap will be down the track is still in talks, and this gives the man a bit more time to think about coming back. A minimal contract would be the idea until he can prove himself in the game.
What’s crazy to some may not be a bad idea at all if Mundine is prepared to return to rugby league and light up the NRL once again.