England World Cup outcast Ben Te’o is back in rugby league for the remainder of the 2020 season in Australian. The midfielder’s career at Test level in union was shattered by the fallout from an alleged altercation in Italy with Mike Brown during a pre-World Cup training camp.
Despite being a regular under Eddie Jones and also featuring for the Lions in their drawn Test series versus the All Blacks in 2017, Te’o was cut loose by England for the finals and he spent some month at Toulon in the Top 14 before linking up with the Sunwolves ahead of the 2020 Super Rugby season.
However, with that tournament cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak and the Sunwolves now defunct as they won’t be returning to Super Rugby in 2021, Te’o has filled the gap on his schedule by answering an SOS from Brisbane.
Broncos coach Anthony Seibold was looking for reinforcements after hooker Jake Turpin (leg) joined some big names on the sidelines ahead of Thursday’s clash with Sydney Roosters. Turpin is believed to have suffered a leg fracture and could be out for up to six weeks.
He joined captain Alex Glenn (lacerated leg), David Fifita (knee), Tevita Pangai (suspension) and Jack Bird (knee) on the sidelines.
Te’o, 33, has been linked to the Broncos since being spotted training in Brisbane after his Japanese Super Rugby club Sunwolves were sidelined in March due to the coronavirus. Seibold reached out to ex-England player – who last played NRL in 2014 – with the Sunwolves not involved in the Super Rugby relaunch in July.
Former Queensland State of Origin forward Te’o returns to Red Hill after playing 75 games for Brisbane from 2009 to 2012. Overall he played 152 NRL games, also featuring at West Tigers and South Sydney where he won a premiership in 2014 before making a code switch.
He played 16 Tests for England, twice for the British and Irish Lions and he also played one league Test for Samoa in 2008. “It’s crazy how things work out but I’m just excited to get back playing rugby league and rip in with the boys and really work hard,” Te’o said in a statement. “The club had a spot open and need some boys and I’m ready to come and help out and play my role for the Broncos.”
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