Sailor sets sights high for NRL return - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sailor sets sights high for NRL return

By Todd Balym 05/06/2008 07:18:47 PM Comments (0)

St George Illawarra star Wendell Sailor has set himself the target of scoring in his NRL return on Friday night against former club Brisbane at WIN Stadium.

Ever the promoter and never one to lack confidence, Sailor admits crossing the tryline would be the ideal way to cap his comeback from a two-year drug suspension and seven-year absence from top flight league.

He scored a double in his return to the game for his local league side last month and would dearly love a repeat on the big stage of live Friday night football.

"I would like to, hopefully a couple (of tries)," said Sailor.

"I just want to go out there and make sure I do my job.

"It's a good opportunity now to step up and hopefully do a job for the team this week."

As much as coach Nathan Brown tried to downplay the significance, Friday night is all about the return of Dell.

The former Test and Queensland star whose affair with rugby union ended in tears has now come back to league desperate to erase the memory of his one off-field mistake.

Bookmakers have even caught Dell Fever, offering odds on whether he will score a try on Friday night and a head-to-head market with Brisbane's four-try hero from last week Denan Kemp.

Tickets have sold quickly for the clash in Wollongong but severe wet weather could prevent the expected capacity crowd from attending.

Coach Brown won't let his men get swept away in the hype surrounding Sailor's return and wants them focussed on continuing their three-game winning streak, the club's longest since late 2006.

"I'm excited about Wendell but as I stressed at the start of the week it's more about the team than about Wendell," said Brown.

"Even though we are all excited Wendell is playing and I'm sure he will add a lot of buzz around the whole football world that he is playing, but from the Dragons' point of view it's really about us winning the game."

Sailor has played just three local league games since signing with the Dragons but Brown says the 33-year-old will add vital experience in the absence of Origin stars Mark Gasnier and Matt Cooper.

Sailor played 189 NRL games with the Broncos before defecting to union and Brown is excited about the enthusiasm and composure he will bring to the young Dragons backline.

"He certainly does not lack any confidence and his enthusiasm is quite infectious," said Brown.

"Wendell has been around a long time and knows what he needs to do."

A win for the Dragons on Friday would see the red and whites jump into the NRL top eight and cap a remarkable month which included wins over last year's grand finalists Melbourne and Manly.

Five-eighth Jamie Soward however is quick to downplay talk the Dragons are building strong momentum to make a bid for the finals this year.

"It's been a good block for us this last month and a bit," he said.

"(But) we need to finish this block off before the bye and reassess our goals after that."

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