18 months away from the game is a long time to reflect on your career and evaluate where things are at and after time to think, Jamal Idris is back in the NRL.
Idris will take up a 1-year deal with the Wests Tigers in 2017, having previously spent time with the Canterbury Bulldogs, the Gold Coast Titans and the Penrith Panthers.
With a total of 131 NRL games to his name since his debut back in 2008, Idris was the 2009 Rookie of the Year and a star on the rise.
However, like many young players, the struggles came and he was forced to take time away from the game to set himself on the right path and get his off-field life back on track.
Now, with a fresh outlook and a rejuvenated passion for the game of rugby league, Idris is back in the NRL and is excited at what lies ahead for him.
“For me, it’s so exciting as there are a lot of up-and-coming young players here,” said Idris.
“The average age is really young, and they’re only going to get better and more experienced. If they do that together, then they’re going to gel well as a team and that’s really exciting.
“I’ve learned a lot over the last year, and the biggest thing was that I was playing rugby league for others. This time, I’m playing rugby league for myself.”
Idris is eager to get involved in not only the game of rugby league once more but with the Wests Tigers club itself.
“There’s no better way to get back into it then to get stuck into training, and I’m improving a lot every week. I’m just hoping to do it now, week in and week out,” said Idris.
“I can’t wait to meet all the new fans and Members of Wests Tigers.”
“This Club has a great history and supporter base, and I can’t wait to meet and get to know so many more fans.”
Fans have always known that Idris has the ability to play the game and with the off-field elements now sorted, Wests Tigers CEO Justin Pascoe is excited to have Idris join the club.
“As a Club, we are really pleased to have Jamal at Wests Tigers next year,” Pascoe said.
“We’re thrilled that he’s decided to embark on the next stage of his playing career with us.
“We all know what he can do on the field and we look forward to seeing him do it in a Wests Tigers jersey next season,” he said. “Jamal’s been a fan favourite everywhere that he’s played and I’m sure that Wests Tigers Members and fans are excited to have him with us.
“We had a lot of positive signs both on and off the field in 2016 and Jamal’s signing is another step in the right direction for this organisation.”
Equally pleased is coach Jason Taylor, who will be able to have a fully committed Idris ready to play in 2017.
“We’re really looking forward to having Jamal join us ahead of the 2017 season,” said Taylor.
“He brings a lot of size and strength to our outside backs which is something that we identified that needed to be improved on for the coming year.
“Jamal has played the game at the highest level and comes to Wests Tigers with a lot to prove.”
“He’s been working hard over the last couple of weeks to ensure that he’s ready for the start of pre-season and he’s incredibly motivated to get back into the game and we’re really happy that he’s decided to do it with us.”