The NRL has permitted former champion player Michael Jennings to sign a fresh contract with the Roosters, following his suspension for doping. Recent reports disclosed that the Chooks were considering granting Jennings the opportunity to redeem himself, having fulfilled his three-year doping ban period.
Danny Weidler from Channel 9, announced on Monday that the NRL had sanctioned a deal for Jennings to proceed with a train-and-trial contract in 2024. Jennings last participated in the league three years ago, prior to being dismissed by Parramatta due to his doping violation back in 2021.
While the Roosters currently have a strong centre position with Joey Manu and Joseph Suaalii as the key pair, Jennings could prove beneficial in times of injury among the outlying backs. This is especially considering both Manu and Suaalii are approaching the conclusion of their contracts.
The exits of Jaxson Paulo (Sea Eagles), Paul Momirovski (from Leeds Rhinos), and Corey Allan post the 2023 season, has created available positions within the squad. Jennings is eager to resume his rugby league career and go out on a high note.
Jennings, who previously played under Roosters coach Trent Robinson, will yet again reunite with his mentor. He enjoyed a victorious season, including a premiership win, under the reins of Robinson back in 2013.
Jennings’ drug transgression and subsequent suspension were a fallout of a failed drug test in October 2020. This led to his contract with the Eels ultimately being terminated in May 2021.
Legal rulings forced him to pay $600,000 to his former spouse, Kirra Wilden, following a sexual assault civil case against him.
Unfolding on a train and trial agreement, players participate in thorough training with the NRL squad, receiving a weekly remuneration of about $1000. However, they are prohibited from joining the official NRL games until after Round 11.
Jennings, who debuted in 2007, has a history of 154 tries in his 298-match career with the Panthers, Roosters, and Eels. Also, he was selected 18 times for the Blues in Origin and played 19 tests for Australia and Tonga. If approved by the NRL, Jennings may surpass the 300-game landmark by the tail end of the forthcoming season.