Former South Sydney and Melbourne star Matt King is set to return to his junior stomping ground of Casino in 2014.
Former South Sydney and Melbourne star Matt King is set to return to his junior stomping ground of Casino in 2014. Trevor Veale

Cougars hail the return of the King

CASINO product Matt King will come full circle when he returns to play for the Cougars in the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League next season.

King, 33, recently retired after a decorated career in the National Rugby League and English Super League. He grew up at Casino and played all his junior rugby league there.

"This is something I've wanted to do and now is the perfect time," King said.

"I want to make the most of it while I can and before I get too old.

"I'm having a couple of operations but I should be right to go midway through the season."

King will remain in Sydney after taking up a coaching position with the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

The Casino club hopes he will play a handful of games during the season.

"We were in discussions for a while and this will be great for the whole competition," Cougars president Stuart George said.

"I know Matt is very keen to put back into the Cougars where he started a brilliant career, and for him to do it now shows what type of character he is.

"He is also keen to take on a mentor role at the club, which will be a huge benefit for us."

King played for NSW and Australia and racked up a combined 219 games in the NRL and English Super League.

He played under-18s and won a first-grade premiership with Marist Brothers while attending St John's College, Woodlawn, near Lismore.

"I don't want to disrespect Marist Brothers and it was a tough decision because there are a lot of great people at both clubs," King said. "But I grew up in Casino and I'm thankful that the club is happy to have me involved."



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