Anthony Mundine is set to return to the rugby league field for the first time in almost 19 years after registering to play with Matraville Tigers in South Sydney.
He walked away from St George Illawarra in May 2000, citing his ongoing lack of opportunities to play representative football.
Mundine then went on to pursue a successful 18-year boxing career, in which he held both the WBA super middleweight and IBO middleweight titles, before that ended with a knockout by Jeff Horn in January.
He’s reportedly signed up to play for the Matraville club side in this season’s A-Grade South Sydney District Junior Rugby Football League.
“I just want to get back on the paddock,” Mundine told The Sunday Telegraph.
“I’m working on speed and muscles I haven’t used since I last played. I’ll see how I go. I’ll be targeted because of my profile but that’s fine.”
Mundine played 127 first grade matches between 1993 and 2000 for St George, Brisbane and St George Illawarra and ran on for the NSW Blues in all three matches of the 1999 State of Origin.
He won the 1997 Super League premiership with the Broncos and played in the 1996 and 1999 grand finals with the Dragons, but the 43-year-old hasn’t been on the field for almost 19 years.
“Age is just a number,” Mundine insisted.
“I love the game and I’m a different beast. My body hasn’t been beaten up because I quit footy 20 years ago. The contact doesn’t worry me. This is also a nice opportunity to mentor a few kids.”