Te’o breaks silence on NRL comeback bid
Ben Te'o has broken his silence over his future with the former Queensland Origin hitman leaving the door ajar for a comeback to the Broncos.
The Broncos have two spots to fill on their NRL roster this season and Te'o told News Corp he has not ruled out a return to rugby league pending an outcome on his contract with Japanese rugby outfit the Sunwolves.
Te'o has spent the past few months training alone at the Broncos' base at Red Hill after the coronavirus pandemic forced the suspension of the Super Rugby competition.
The Sunwolves are set to be excluded from a condensed 10-week Australian domestic season - which would make Te'o a free agent and clear the path for him to embark on a second stint with the Broncos.
Broncos coach Anthony Seibold has confirmed his interest in Te'o and the 33-year-old confirmed he will keep an open mind if his Sunwolves deal officially collapses in the coming days.
"Obviously I have played NRL in the past. I'm not sure how keen the Broncos are in me but I am keeping all my options open," Te'o said.
"I can't really say too much at the moment because I'm contracted to the Sunwolves.
"I am following the news and from what I'm told, it might be all over for me at the Sunwolves in the next few days.
"I have to sit tight and wait. I'm still contracted to them and I will respect my ties to them until I have some clarity over my future.
"There's some talk that there might be a press conference to announce the new Super comp (in Australia) and that the Sunwolves are out and if they are, I can crack on and weigh up my options.
"That's why I've been at the Broncos most days training with the young guys ... I'm trying to stay as fit as I can at this time."
Te'o faces a major pay cut to return to the Broncos.
Brisbane have a minimum contract of around $100,000 set aside for Te'o, who played 75 games for the Broncos from 2009-12 before he shifted to Souths, winning a premiership in 2014.
The hard-hitting forward played seven Origin games for the Maroons and left the NRL six years ago with a reputation as one of the most ferocious defenders in the NRL.
The Broncos have the youngest team in the NRL this season and Te'o would bring experience and a fear factor to Brisbane's pack.
Te'o has played at Leinster, Worcester, Toulon and the Sunwolves during his tenure in rugby, but admits the NRL holds a special place in his heart.
"I never really planned to have one more contract in the NRL, but do I miss the game ... for sure," he said.
"I love the NRL. I love everything about it.
"I have enjoyed both codes in different ways, but rugby league is such a tough game in the NRL. You have to be super fit to be successful at it.
"I'm probably in rugby union shape at the moment. But I'm not too worried about my weight these days, I know what I have to do to get in shape."
Former Broncos skipper Gorden Tallis said Te'o could be an intimidating force off interchange for coach Anthony Seibold.
"I said eight weeks ago that Ben Te'o was looking for an NRL gig," he said.
"I asked Sam Burgess (former Souths forward) if he would be successful and he thought Te'o could do a job off the bench.
"It all depends on how fit he is. Don't forget, he has been playing rugby union.
"At the right price, absolutely, Ben Te'o is going to be worth a gamble."
Originally published as Te'o breaks silence on NRL comeback bid