James Maloney won’t be back in the NRL this season.
James Maloney won’t be back in the NRL this season.

Maloney responds to short-term NRL deal speculation

Still in lockdown in France, ex-NSW star James Maloney has ruled out snapping up an NRL short-term contract with the UK Super League indefinitely suspended.

The former Blues playmaker was considered a potential target for NRL clubs keen to poach sidelined Super League and rugby union stars with the Australian competition set to re-start on May 28.

In a frustrating start to his first year with Super League outfit Catalans Dragons, the 33-year-old is biding his time in France which announced this week it would remain in lockdown until May 11.

The veteran of 247 NRL games, Maloney played just four times for the Dragons before coronavirus forced the Super League to shut down with no return date in sight.

While Maloney considered returning home to Australia when the pandemic first began to spread, he believed it would now be a logistical nightmare.

 

"When we thought about it, if you went back home you had to go into quarantine for two weeks, and we've got four kids," he told 2GB Radio.

"It's a hard one, you know, obviously for us, it'd be nice to go back home.

"But then I think with the announcement (France lockdown), I think they also said borders to non-European countries are closed indefinitely, so I don't even know where that would leave you in terms of coming back once it was all over."

 

James Maloney is ion a three year deal with Catalans.
James Maloney is ion a three year deal with Catalans.

Maloney, Catalans teammate Israel Folau and fellow Super League star Sonny-Bill Williams were believed to be in NRL clubs' sights during the pandemic shutdown along with rugby's Quade Cooper and Ben Te'o.

But Maloney said working out a short-term NRL deal sounded like a headache he did not want to endure.

"I don't know logistically how it works, probably not," Maloney said.

"I know Catalans are doing their best obviously to be able to keep paying us so I don't know how you could all of sudden try and work out - even if the NRL did manage to get back - how you'd try and manage a short-term deal.

"I think it's probably more headaches logistically than what it's sort of worth and I just don't think it's possible, so it's probably nothing I've really thought about."

Originally published as Maloney responds to short-term NRL deal speculation



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