THE last thing Chris Farrell wants to be remembered for is being the man who had his jaw broken so badly it led to the shoulder charge ban in rugby league.
Farrell was the victim of a shoulder charge gone wrong when Titans second-rower Ryan James levelled him during the Queensland Cup semi-final between Redcliffe and the Tweed Seagulls last year.
It was the final straw for those responsible for player welfare and the shoulder charge was banned in Australian rugby league this season.
Farrell, 27, missed the grand final and it was the closest he's been to winning one since he was a teenager.
He has returned to play in the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League competition and played his first game back with Brothers on Saturday night.
Farrell captained Redcliffe for two years and was devastated to miss the grand final last year.
"It was definitely tough. I'd been there for four years and when I first started we were at the bottom of the ladder," Farrell said.
"It made no difference to me whether the shoulder charge was banned or not, I was always going to play again.
"It just happened to be me that ended up on the back page of every newspaper after that hit."
Farrell scored a try in the 40-16 win against the Bombers at the weekend.
It was a fitting return for the front-rower after he originally played second division for Evans Head before his time at the Rams.
"I'd done a bit of travelling this year and couldn't really commit to Redcliffe," Farrell said.
"I played under-18s with Jake Campbell and he convinced me to come back and play.
"It was my first game back in nine months but I was pretty confident my jaw would be fine.
"I work as a sales rep and I have some clients in the Northern Rivers and that's made it possible to play here.
"Paul O'Neill is captain of Marist Brothers and last time I played here he was our ball boy, so a lot has changed."
Farrell left Redcliffe in the safe hands of Queensland and Broncos legend Petero Civoniceva.
The size and experience Farrell brings to the Rams will be invaluable as they surge towards the NRRRL semi-finals.
"The enthusiasm is definitely there and I'll help out anyway I can," he said.
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