NRL won’t stand in way of Wicks’ return
Danny Wicks has been assured the NRL won’t stand in the way of his possible return to rugby league as the convicted drug dealer seeks to re-start his football career.
Wicks held preliminary discussions with Parramatta on Tuesday ahead of the possibility of a return to the NRL next season.
The Eels are one of a number of clubs linked to Wicks, including St George Illawarra and Newcastle.
The former Dragons and Knights forward was released from prison on parole in March.
He served 18 months in Glen Innes Correctional Centre after being found guilty of three counts of supplying drugs in 2011.
Wicks is serving a four-year World Anti-Doping Authority ban, which ends in September, meaning he would be eligible to begin pre-season training with a new club in November.
Wicks’ manager Steve Gillis told AAP on Thursday that the 28-year-old had been informed the NRL would be prepared to register a contract, if, or when, he signed on with a club.
“The NRL has said they are open to him returning to rugby league,” Gillis said.
“They don’t see any reason why he wouldn’t be re-registered.
“That is coming from the powers that be.
“Danny is a bloke who has made a mistake, he has learned from that, he has served his punishment and we as a society don’t just lock blokes like that away and forget about them – life goes on.”
Gillis said Wicks was mentally and physically ready for a return to football and that time away from the game could extend his career.
“He hasn’t copped those knocks or injuries in this brutal game we play so Danny feels that he could be able to play the game later into his life than might otherwise have been the case,” Gillis said.
Speculation swirled around the NRL on Wednesday that Wicks was close to agreeing to terms with a NRL club but Gillis said it could be months before that was confirmed.
“We have had preliminary discussions with some clubs. In some cases, it was just a text or a call to say ‘are you interested?’,” Gillis said.
“There is nothing formal and there is no urgency to get it done. We have a stack of time.
“And Danny knows there are no guarantees.
“But he is fine – he is a strong kid who is just hungry for a game of footy.”