Griffin yet to decide on de Belin return

·2-min read

St George Illawarra coach Anthony Griffin will decide over the next 24 hours whether Jack de Belin will make his NRL return against Brisbane on Thursday night.

The Dragons lock had his first day at NRL training for the season on Monday after making his rugby league return in reserve grade over the weekend.

He had spent two-and-a-half years sidelined under the NRL's no fault standdown rule while defending sexual assault charges, which have now been dropped after two trials ended with hung juries.

De Belin had been training with the NRL group in 2019 and 2020 under former coach Paul McGregor, but was moved back to train with the NSW Cup side once Griffin arrived at the start of the season.

"It was nice to have him there today. I feel good for him," Griffin said of de Belin.

"The fact that he's been out for so long to be able to come back and train with the NRL team is good.

"Most of the players were there Saturday to watch him.

"It broke the ice. Today is a good feeling to be able to walk in and go to NRL training knowing he's available now."

The 30-year-old was solid in his rugby league return last weekend but is a chance to nab a bench spot for the Dragons against the Broncos.

St George Illawarra have been hit hard with injury but will also be without second-rower Tariq Sims who was selected in the NSW Blues team on Monday, while Josh Kerr and Mikaele Ravalawa will return to the side.

"We'll have a look at that over the next 24 hours," Griffin said when asked of de Belin's chance to be named on Tuesday.

"He's been out for a long time. If and when he gets his chance he's got to get his job done and build from there.

"When we do get him back in the team it's just about doing his job.

"How good that looks or how well he plays, we need to be patient with that."

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