Ryles returns to NRL with Roosters - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Ryles returns to NRL with Roosters

16/11/2009 05:11:21 PM Comments (0)

Older, wiser and with a new sense of perspective on rugby league, Jason Ryles says he can't wait to make a "fresh start" in the NRL with the Sydney Roosters next season.

The 30-year-old former St George Illawarra prop on Monday signed a two-year deal with the Roosters after securing a release just a season into his three-year deal with France-based Super League club Catalan Dragons.

Knowing incoming Roosters coach Brian Smith had been a long-time admirer of his, and keen to return to Australia with his girlfriend failing to settle in France, Ryles revealed he approached the coach shortly after his appointment to see if he could find a spot for him.

That made for an easy decision for Smith, who had tried to sign Ryles when he was coaching Newcastle and Parramatta.

Smith described Ryles' signing as "perfect", with his young Roosters pack in need of experience and believing the big forward would have a point to prove to his many doubters in the NRL.

Ryles, who has been labelled over-rated by some during his career, agrees and believes he is now better equipped to deal with the pressures of the NRL after his experience overseas.

Asked whether he felt he has a point to prove, Ryles said: "I won't deny I've copped my fair share of criticism over the last couple of years.

"But the last 12 months has really put in perspective that when you do cop that criticism that, it's a fishbowl sort of thing and it only comes from certain sections of fans and all that sort of thing.

"The NRL is such a small dot in the world as a whole so you don't think too much about it overseas."

Ryles said he had no regrets about leaving for France after nine seasons with the Dragons.

"If anything, I wish I left a few years earlier ... nothing to do with the club, I just need a fresh start, " he said.

"I'd been there since I was 18, so I didn't really know any different.

"Now that I have left and seen how other clubs are run, I'm looking forward to a fresh start again here in the NRL and it's a pretty good club to do it with."

Ryles, who has played 12 Tests for Australia and 15 games for NSW, did not rule out a return to representative football but won't be holding his breath after several selection shuns in his career.

"I didn't get picked when I was playing well before I left so I can't see them changing their minds now," he said.

"I certainly wouldn't say no but it's not really on the radar."

Ryles said he hoped to finish his career with the Roosters, saying the contract would likely be his last.

But that still gives him time to achieve plenty more in his career, according to Smith.

"His track record as a representative player as well as a club player is outstanding," the coach said.

"He's a very hard worker, reads the game well and I just want him to come and get that fresh start he's talking about because there's plenty of time left in his career to make some more marks."

Smith said Ryles would add valuable experience to a youthful forward pack, which has lost the likes of Craig Fitzgibbon and Mark O'Meley, while Willie Mason's future at the club remains up in the air.

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