Wallaby Rogers to return to league

Australian Rugby Union utility Mat Rogers will return to rugby league after the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France.

    Rogers was a high profile recruit from rugby league in 2001 and has signed a contract to join the new National Rugby League (NRL) club the Gold Coast Titans for the 2008 and 2009 seasons.

    "It's (a) great opportunity to start afresh," the 31-year-old told reporters.
      
    "It's been a tough 18 months for me and this is a great way to kick off a new part of my life," he added, referring to the untimely death in January of his father, rugby league legend Steve Rogers, aged 51.

    The former Cronulla Shark has taken a large pay cut to rejoin league with his contracted salary of $225,000 a significant drop from the $650,000 he receives from the Australian Rugby Union.

    Rogers stated he was committed to Australia going one better in France next year after being on the losing side in the 2003 final.

    "I'm certainly looking forward to the next 12 months in rugby," said Rogers.
      
    "It'd be good to finish with a bang and I can move on knowing that I have achieved everything. By no means do I feel I have achieved everything in rugby, there's still a lot to go."

    Gold Coast chief executive Michael Searle said he wasn't concerned about Rogers' age.
      
    "He's an athlete," Searle said. "He's an absolute freak of a  player and it's fantastic to get him back in our game."
      
    A dual international, Rogers has played 41 Tests for the Wallabies and had represented Australia in 11 rugby league Tests during his first stint in the game.

    SOURCE: AFP


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