Cayless aims for a front-row seat with Tigers in return season
Adrian Proszenko | October 25, 2009
JASON CAYLESS says he will return to the NRL as formidable a player as the one who left it four years ago.
Cayless headlines a list of Wests Tigers recruits for next season including Arana Taumata, Tame Tupou, Junior Moors, Geoff Daniela and prodigal sons Liam Fulton and Daniel Fitzhenry. Former Wallabies star Lote Tuqiri and premiership-winning Melbourne forward Jeff Lima are also in the club’s sights.
Cayless, once a fearsome prop for Parramatta and the Roosters, has spent the past four years playing for Super League club St Helens but was released from the final year of his contract to return to Australia. While his stint in England has been punctuated by injuries, the 29-year-old is confident he can return to the form that earned him 10 Test caps for New Zealand from 2002-06.
‘‘Definitely, I don’t think I’ve lost anything over there. It’s a case of having some bad injuries over the last two years,’’ Cayless told The Sun-Herald.
''I want to get back on the field and start proving myself again. I’m definitely excited, it’s also a great chance to come back to the NRL and test myself again.
‘’[Coach Tim Sheens] was happy with how I was going in the NRL when I was last here. Obviously he hasn’t seen me play a lot in England but he wants me back to playing the way I did at the Roosters, which is what I want.’’
The 194-centimetre prop has struggled with knee and shoulder problems, the latter still giving some discomfort. However, the Tigers put Cayless through stringent medical tests to ensure he was up to the rigours of an NRL season before signing him to a two-year deal.
Cayless is keen to re-establish himself as a starting prop and to regain his Kiwis jersey during his latest stint in Australia. But there’s one thing he isn’t looking forward to - playing against his brother, Parramatta captain Nathan.
‘‘That will be tough,’’ he said. ''I’ve never liked playing against him, he’s my brother and we’re pretty close.
‘‘We’ll take that as it comes, those two times a year. We played my first two seasons at Parramatta together and since then we’ve only played [together] at international level for the Kiwis. It’s always a buzz, Nath and I started a couple of Tests together in the front row and it’s always great having your brother next to you, it gives you a lift and you want to play with him and for him.’’
Well I like his confidence.
However, the Tigers put Cayless through stringent medical tests to ensure he was up to the rigours of an NRL season before signing him to a two-year deal.
based on our history of longer then expected injuries/recurring injuries, I wonder how stringent those medical tests really were!!