Sailor looks to his NRL third coming - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sailor looks to his NRL third coming

By Steve Jancetic 02/07/2008 05:43:07 PM Comments (0)

St George Illawarra winger Wendell Sailor says he'll look to take care of some unfinished business in his 'third coming' to the NRL at EnergyAustralia on Saturday night.

The controversial winger will resume his comeback to professional football on the wing against Newcastle, a comeback that was so rudely interrupted by a fractured cheekbone after just 40 minutes against Brisbane a month ago.

That match was Sailor's first back in the big time following a two-year drug ban earned in rugby union, and came with plenty of hype and expectation.

But an errant David Stagg elbow just before the break put paid to any thoughts of a fairytale return.

"There was a bit of fanfare about me coming back but I said I'd never judge myself on 40 minutes of football," Sailor said.

"(Dragons coach Nathan Brown) said to me that if you do the hard work there's always an option for you to be in the 17 somewhere.

"I thought maybe he would put me back on the bench somewhere but I'm glad I get a chance to play on the wing and finish my job off."

Sailor's opportunity comes with Dragons skipper Mark Gasnier still on the sidelines with a back injury, Brown playing down any possibility of the Test ace making a shock return against the Knights.

"He had a bit of a run around today and tomorrow we'll see how he pulls up before we even worry about where we're going to progress with him at the moment," Brown said of Gasnier.

"I'd probably say he's very, very, very, very doubtful."

Had Gasnier been available, Sailor may have found himself making a comeback through the Queensland Cup, or worse, the local Illawarra league.

As it was Brown was forced to make some hard decisions to find space for Sailor in a side which has won six straight games, dropping winger Michael Lett and pushing teenage star Chase Stanley into the backrow to accommodate the dual international.

"Dell's got a bit of experience, positionally he's very good at the moment and he brings other things to the table," Brown said.

"You feel bad for someone like Letty - all his three games he's done a good job for us."

"(Sailor's) been training with us the past three weeks, the big thing with Dell was getting the kilometres in his legs ... he's probably in better shape than when he played last time."

Having waited two years to play football again, Sailor, said the four weeks on the sidelines were torture.

But he still managed to retain that unique Dell charm.

"(The face is) looking good, I think the doctor did a real good job," he quipped.

"There hasn't been much pain and it was good to get some contact, it's the first contact I've had in three or four weeks today."

Saturday night's match will also allow Sailor the opportunity to lock horns with old foe Adam MacDougall again, and the veteran winger even allowed himself some time to reminisce about the good old days.

"Joey (former Newcastle great Andrew Johns) used to tell me a few funny stories about Mad Dog saying 'Mad Dog's talking about you, he's been talking to his legs saying he'`s coming to get you," Sailor recalled.

"No doubt Mad Dog will be ready for me this weekend ...you look forward to playing against exciting players like that."

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