Mid-season bargain: Who should gamble on Segeyaro?
James Segeyaro believes he could be the best mid-season buy in the NRL as the countdown to his comeback from a doping ban begins.
The former Cowboys, Panthers, Sharks and Broncos hooker says the NRL's new rules - aimed at promoting attacking footy - are tailor-made for his explosive style.
The 30-year-old is in the final days of a 20-month suspension imposed by the NRL anti-doping tribunal that ruled that he had unintentionally consumed Ligandrol, a banned substance under the World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA) code.
Under the terms of his ban, Segeyaro will be permitted to commence full-time training with an NRL club on May 2, in four weeks time, ahead of being allowed to return to the field and reignite his career on June 2.
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Renowned for his attacking spark from dummy-half, the Papua New Guinean international revealed why he was refusing to give-up on his NRL dream.
"Why give up?," Segeyaro said.
"Giving up isn't something that I do. There's no point in giving up.
"It's my dream I've had since I was a kid.
"I just love footy.
"It was a long time going through the suspension and I had every excuse to give up, but I didn't because I love it.''
Both the injury crisis that has rocked the code so far this season and the timing of Segeyaro's availability halfway through the season will trigger interest from several clubs needing to replenish their stocks ahead of the finals.
A host of clubs are stretched in their depth at dummy-half with the Tigers, Titans, Broncos, Sea Eagles, Bulldogs, Sharks and Dragons as far as their depth is concerned.
Pointing to the benefits of being able to avoid injury or body fatigue over the past 18-months, Segeyaro said he wouldn't waste the opportunity if a career lifeline came his way.
"I missed out on an entire year last season," Segeyaro said.
"And as I look at my career, I've played the majority of the games off the bench, so my body hasn't broken down or anything like that.
"If anything, last year gave me a refresh.
"My body is feeling excellent.
"Obviously there were a lot of mental things that I had to battle from the suspension.
"But it allowed me to take a step back and be grateful for what I do have, which is a belief that I can still be of great benefit to a footy team."
The lightning speed of the ruck in 2021 under the directive of the NRL suited his own game, according to Segeyaro.
"I know I can have an impact with an NRL team," Segeyaro said.
"Look at my short time at Brisbane, I was able to have an impact. That's what I thrive in.
"With the new rules, from what I've seen as a spectator, I see it definitely suiting my game.
"I know I can be that spark that some team's need."
Segeyaro's close mate, Dragons five-eighth Corey Norman, agreed.
"Chicko (Segeyaro) has only been able to watch the new rules unfold, but I know first-hand, he would love the new rules," Norman said.
"I've got no doubt, with the next four to six weeks to get conditioned, his career is far from finished yet.''
WHO NEEDS SEGEYARO?
Sea Eagles - Could use some spark out of dummy-half with work-a-holic Lachlan Croker and Cade Cust filling the role
Tigers - Jacob Liddle could use support at dummy-half with utility Moses Mbye his only back-up.
Titans - Lacking x-factor with Mitch Rein and Erin Clark being the club's current hookers
Broncos - The Broncos future is in current hooker Jake Turpin, but Segeyaro provides a point of difference
Bulldogs - Trent Barrett has been unable to settle on his hooker with Jeremy Marshall-King, Sione Katoa and Brad Deitz all used this year
Sharks - Running the gauntlet with promising hooker Blayke Brailey the only NRL-quality hooker in the club
Dragons - Down to two hookers in the club with Cam McInnes injured. The Red V only have Andrew McCullough and back-up hooker Billy Britain.
Originally published as Mid-season bargain: Who should gamble on Segeyaro?