The Daily Telegraph is tipping the former Canterbury Bulldogs superstar will be back in the NRL for the start of the 2012 season after he was recently spotted with Parramatta Eels coach Stephen Kearney at a Hurstville cafe. We’re told it was a very casual chat, but the possibility of a rugby league comeback was certainly mentioned.
Sonny Bill is under contract to the New Zealand Rugby Union and the Canterbury Crusaders, but only until the completion of the World Cup on October 15.
The Eels are almost $600,000 under the salary cap and are ready to pounce for a player they believe can deliver their first premiership since 1986.
Apart from the attraction of playing under Kearney, who he admires, Sonny Bill is also a close friend of Parramatta’s new signing Reni Maitua.
They were virtually inseparable during their time together at the Bulldogs before Sonny Bill walked out to Toulon and Maitua was sacked for repeated infringements.
Sonny Bill’s closest supporters are desperately hoping the Parramatta deal comes off because they believe Kearney is the right man to turn his life around and shake the influence of Khoder Nasser and the Anthony Mundine camp.
His reputation has been in tatters since Nasser orchestrated his sudden exit from the Bulldogs to join Toulon – often described as one of the most dishonorable moves in rugby league history.