He was lured out of retirement for a guest appearance with Fiji last month but Petero Civoniceva's return to the Redcliffe Dolphins this week will be more than just a one-off.
The Dolphins were proud to announce the return of 2013 captain Civoniceva to the team for this week’s Round 13 clash against Burleigh Bears at Pizzey Park.
Although the Dolphins hadn’t officially announced Civoniceva’s return, the rumour mill was working overtime about a Civoniceva comeback at last Sunday’s home game against the Falcons.
Club CEO Grant Cleal knew timing was biggest issue for the former Kangaroos and Queensland forward – who helps promote the game with the community in his role as an NRL ambassador.
"A hectic schedule for Civoniceva (as) his NRL ambassador role will continue to affect his availability, but the club will be pleased to have him on the team list whenever we can," said Cleal.
Although fans hopes were dashed when he didn’t run out in front of the Channel Nine cameras at the Intrust Super Cup’s game of the week last Sunday, Burleigh fans will not be disappointed.
"He will be a huge lift to our squad and our forwards on field," Dolphins coach Troy Lindsay said. "His work-rate just has that effect on everyone around him.
"I can’t say anything that hasn't been said before but I'm glad to have him back."
With mixed results across the season so far, his timely inclusion for the Dolphins increases chances ahead of upcoming heavy hit-outs against Burleigh, Pride and competition newcomers PNG.
"If Petero’s availability has him on the plane to PNG with us it will be a huge day for us in Kokopo; the country has pretty much claimed him as one of their own after his recent visits with work," Cleal said.