Packer back from brink of retirement

https://www.smh.com.au/sport/nrl/packer-back-from-brink-of-retirement-after-beating-injury-during-shutdown-20200508-p54r2w.html

One of rugby league’s best-paid props, Russell Packer, is running free of pain and will rejoin his Wests Tigers teammates for a ball-work session next week.

The coronavirus-enforced shutdown benefited every NRL player carrying niggling injuries but no one more than Packer, 30, who looked set to be medically retired over the summer because of a toe injury.

NRL players Adam Reynolds, Latrell Mitchell, Liam Knight and Roosters coach Trent Robinson have all tested negative to coronavirus after displaying symptoms.

Packer had not been sighted since last year’s Easter Monday massacre against Parramatta and was set to miss the opening rounds of this season after surgery.

Tigers officials were resigned to losing Packer, and the $1.4 million he stood to earn the next two years would have made it easier to chase another marquee forward.

Fellow Kiwi international Ben Matulino, another prop signed for monster money by the Tigers, had already reloaded the club’s coffers after being medically retired a year early last October because of a knee injury.

Tigers coach Michael Maguire welcomed the return of all his players this week but singled out Packer, who was finally able to hit top gear and edge closer to a top-flight return.

"He’s back running and it’s the best he’s run since I’ve been at the club,’’ Maguire told the Herald.

"He hasn’t been able to run for about 16 months. I really hope for his sake he can get back because he’s already gone through a long journey to get to where he is now.

"He will be another great addition if we can get him playing his best footy.

"He’s quietly going about what he’s doing. I won’t even try and guess when he’ll return, but the best thing right now is he’s running without pain. He’ll start ball-work with us next week.’’

Packer served a year in jail for assault but was thrown an NRL lifeline by St George Illawarra before being financially rewarded by the Tigers for turning his life around. He is also close to completing an MBA at the Australian Graduate School of Management.

The joint venture has recruited fellow New Zealand prop Zane Musgrove, Thomas Mikaele is fit again and Josh Aloiai, 24, and Alex Twal, 23, have both played more than 50 NRL games and will benefit from the experience of playing alongside Packer.

Melbourne dummy-half addition Harry Grant has also impressed at Concord, even though club pin-up Benji Marshall said this week the hooker was beaten in a short foot race by 107kg Aloiai.

Oh well no more excuses

Hope he can get some good form for us.

At his best one of the few intimidating enforcers left in the game

@innsaneink said in Packer back from brink of retirement:

Oh well no more excuses

He didn’t offer any Ink.

@Russell said in Packer back from brink of retirement:

@innsaneink said in Packer back from brink of retirement:

Oh well no more excuses

He didn’t offer any Ink.

Plenty of supporters.like you did though for his bludging pathetic efforts

Don’t see where he fits in the team. Has had very few good games for us even when fit unfortunately.

@innsaneink said in Packer back from brink of retirement:

@Russell said in Packer back from brink of retirement:

@innsaneink said in Packer back from brink of retirement:

Oh well no more excuses

He didn’t offer any Ink.

Plenty of supporters.like you did though for his bludging pathetic efforts

Never offered an excuse Ink, did offer a reason and that was, that he was injured.

This proved to be the case - very difficult to do anything but “bludge or put in a pathetic effort” if you cannot run.

Coincidence in his 1st season at the WT’s he had the best winning % of any player

Injury or no injury I can’t see him in the top grade. Been out of favour ever since Madge got here. Handy depth player I suppose.

@happy_tiger said in Packer back from brink of retirement:

Coincidence in his 1st season at the WT’s he had the best winning % of any player

Yes

As that was Tuimoala Lolohea with 66.67%
Packer 57.74%

last edited by Geo

@Geo said in Packer back from brink of retirement:

@happy_tiger said in Packer back from brink of retirement:

Coincidence in his 1st season at the WT’s he had the best winning % of any player

Yes

As that was Tuimoala Lolohea with 66.67%
Packer 57.74%

Tui didn’t count

I can barely wait to see Packer make 27 meters per game

@jadtiger said in Packer back from brink of retirement:

I can barely wait to see Packer make 27 meters per game

Absence has made the heart grow fonder hasnt it? He’s a dud.

The longer he keeps this going the payments keep coming. He has to be way down the list.

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