He is on the comeback trial after six years out and has just inked a deal with Western Suburbs in the Newcastle competition.
But just how many games Ryan Stig plays for the Rosellas this season will hinge on his form forthe Newcastle Knights in the NSW Cup.
After playing 20 minutes in a trial for the Knights and picking up a rib injury six weeks ago, Stig is back in training and available for selection this weekend.
Whether he plays in Wollongong on Sunday will be up to coach Simon Woolford.
“He’s played 20 minutes of footy in six years so we’ll see,”Woolford said.
Stig’s return is remarkable given the illness that cost him his NRL career in 2012 and also threatened his life.
Her still harbours ambitions of playing top level footy again but it remains to be seen if that is a realistic goal.
After starting pre-season training not really knowing if his fragile body would handle the rigours of playing again, Stig says he has packed on seven kilograms and is confident of “holding my glovesup”.
“The body has held up really good but I’ve got to see how it goes getting belted in game situations. That will be the real test,”he said.
“I look at it as a bit of a triumph in itself to be back where I am but you should always have goals and I want to play first grade. But I’ll just take it a step at a time.”
Stig said the influence of Wests coach Matt Lantry is the reason hechoseto sign with the Rosellas withas many as four other local clubs making offers.
“There wasn’t a lot of difference in a few of the offers but Matty is a great coach who I have plenty of respect for so that swayed it,”he said.
“He understands where I am at and what the priority is so at this stage, it is hard to say how many games I will play.”
Meanwhile, Woolford has admitted Dylan Phythian would have been on the bench for his side on Sunday and played a role in the halves had he not been sacked by the club.
Comeback: Ryan Stig has signed with Western Suburbs but still hopes to play for the Knights. Picture: Marina Neil