There will be a new boy at Warriors training tomorrow but, unlike most who become fulltime professionals, he is more well-known for what he has done off the field.
Shaun Metcalf was 15 when he and two Warriors development squad team-mates brutally attacked his girlfriend in 2003 in the hope she would miscarry the baby she was carrying. The child survived repeated kicking only because the mother wrapped her arms around her stomach.
It was a shocking crime that not only saw Metcalf spend 5 months in prison but also curtailed what had been a promising rugby league career.
On Thursday he signed a one-year contract with the Warriors as cover for the injured Jerome Ropati, who is out for the season with a knee injury. Metcalf will begin training tomorrow and the club has an option on him for 2012.
It won’t be a universally popular decision but the Warriors believe he has paid for his crime and deserves a second chance. The board and management were unanimous in their support of the decision to offer him a contract.
The Warriors had been in negotiations to sign Metcalf to a part-time contract for the rest of 2011 and then evaluate whether to offer him a full-time deal for 2012. But Ropati’s injury accelerated discussions with the 23-year-old centre.
Metcalf is still said to have some way to go before he is ready to make an NRL debut.