The St George Illawarra Dragons have signed utility Gerard Beale for the rest of the 2021 season, the club announced on Tuesday.
It is a homecoming for the 30-year old - who played 30 of his 194 games at the Red V in the 2013 and 2014 seasons.
Seven years between stints at the #redv for the Kiwi international
— St George Illawarra Dragons (@NRL_Dragons) May 18, 2021
Currently playing for the Queensland Intrust Super Cup team Brisbane Tigers, the Dragons were thrilled to bring Beale back into the NRL fold.
"Gerard is a highly respected figure in our game. To sign someone of Gerard's character was an important factor in his recruitment," Dragons general manager of football Ben Haran said in a statement on dragons.com.au.
"Gerard's experience across his 12-year NRL career will be a handy addition to our club for the remainder of the season, given also the amount of young outside backs we have within our top squad currently.
"We have signed Gerard to a training contract in light of the injuries and suspensions our squad is currently faced with.
"As of this week, NRL clubs are allowed to draw upon players outside of their Top 30 to play first grade."
Beale had announced his NRL retirement at the end of 2020 having been let go by the New Zealand Warriors, but now gets another opportunity to return to first-grade football.
Highlights of Beale's career include winning a premiership with Cronulla in 2016 as well as 11 international appearances for New Zealand.
He began his 12-year NRL career at the Broncos in 2009, before moving to the Dragons, then the Sharks and Warriors.
Following Beale's signing, the Dragons still have one more list spot on their top 30 remaining for 2021.