Former NRL hooker James Segeyaro has decided to prolong his rugby league career as he returns to his junior club, linking up with his former Cronulla Sharks teammate Josh Dugan.

Known for his time at the Penrith Panthers, Segeyaro has signed with the Ivanhoes for the 2024 FNQRL competition, having last played in the NRL in 2022.

The decision to return to his junior club comes after he initially signed with the Wests Devils for the 2024 Illawarra League season but decided to leave the club without playing a single game.

Making his NRL debut in 2011 with the Cowboys, Segeyaro would go on to play 155 NRL games, mainly for the Panthers and six games for Papua New Guinea, before moving overseas.

His career also included stints with the Cronulla SharksBrisbane BroncosManly Sea Eagles and overseas clubs such as the Leeds Rhinos in the Super League, Bradford Bulls in the RFL Championship and FC Lezignan in the French Elite One Championship.

The crafty dummy-half's decision to return to the Ivanhoes will see him play with former teammate Josh Dugan, creating a dangerous and difficult spine for the opposition.

“I played with him at the Sharks so I know him really well,” Dugan told The Cairns Post.

“Having a good mate, a senior player and obviously he's achieved great things in the game too so that experience will be massive.

“Hopefully we can feed off each other and that will lead us to the chip.”

James Segeyaro and the Ivanhoes will play their first match of 2024 on Saturday in an unofficial match against the Centrals Tigers at Smithfield from 15:00.