8th November 2021

as seen on stuff.co.nz

Former Kiwis international Te Maire Martin will return to rugby league just two years after retiring because of bleeding in his brain.

The Daily Telegraph reports Martin has signed a development contract with Brisbane Broncos, subject to final medical clearance.

The report says Brisbane coach Kevin Walters sees Martin as a replacement for Anthony Milford to play outside star recruit Adam Reynolds.

Playing for North Queensland Cowboys, the 26-year-old Kiwi took suffered a bad concussion against Melbourne Storm in 2019, with brain scans revealing a bleed after Martin had complained about severe headaches.

Martin’s agent Andrew Purcell is confident the final medical clearance will be granted.

“When he retired there was a headline ‘if I play again I could die’ and that wasn’t factually correct,” Purcell told The Telegraph.

“No brain expert ever said that. Te Maire was coming off contract and was advised to have a spell. 

“Then he retired for two years and started playing a bit of footy with his brothers in New Zealand.

“He felt OK and started playing country footy then rang me up and said he was keen again. He’s had multiple tests and all the scans came back with the green light.

“He feels like he can start fresh and he’s grateful the Broncos have opened the door.”

Martin will train with Brisbane’s NRL squad, but will begin the season playing for Wynnum Manly in the Queensland Cup.

Martin is still in New Zealand, waiting for clearance to travel to Australia.

Starting his career with the Panthers, Martin graduated to the first-grade side after starring in their development sides.

The Waikato native played 14 games in two seasons at Penrith, before a big-money move to North Queensland Cowboys as a long-term replacement for Johnathan Thurston.

Martin made 42 appearances for the club in two and a half seasons before retiring.