Could Te Maire Martin's return to rep footy reignite NRL career?

By Te Ao - Māori News

Former NRL and Kiwis star Te Maire Martin is one step closer to fulfilling his wish of a potential return to the NRL, with selection in the Waikato Rugby League squad.

A four test Kiwi international, Martin was forced to retire from the NRL in January 2020 after discovering a bleed on his brain, and doctors were unable to clear him to return to play. 

Seven months later he turned out for Otorohanga in the Waikato rugby club competition, and this year switched back to league.

He helped his hometown league club, Taharoa Steelers in the Waikato Rugby League competition, reaching the semifinals, losing to powerhouse Taniwharau. 

Martin told Te Ao Toa in April he still harboured hopes of making a return to the big time and earning selection for Waikato would be a good stepping stone to do so. 

"This is the first year I've been back playing. Everything is going good," he told Te Ao Toa at the time, "Get a couple of late hits and the head feels good, so that's all I was worried about, is getting my head sweet.

"It's been good so far, so obviously the next step is to carry on and hopefully make Waikato and go up the grades. At the moment, it's just trying to play footy for home, and we'll carry on from there."

Martin was named in the wider Waikato training squad for the upcoming representative season, including the National Provincial Premiership. 

With the current Covid-19 situation putting a stop to sport for the time being, the National Provincial Competition rugby league tournament is up in the air, so time will tell if Martin is able to fulfill his wish to return to the NRL.