King of the Cougars
CASINO product Matt King will come full circle when he takes the field for the Cougars in Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League against Ballina on Sunday.
It will be the first game King has played at Casino since his junior days.
The 33-year-old retired at the end of last season after a decorated career in the National Rugby League and English Super League.
He committed to the Cougars in November and is hopeful of playing games throughout the season.
"I've always wanted to do this and I can't wait, to be honest," King said.
"I'm happy to play the whole game if that's what the coach wants."
King has already dusted off his boots this season, playing a one-off game for Orange CYMS in the Group 10 competition last month.
He is currently in Casino as part of an NRL community visit.
King, retired Bulldogs winger Steve Turner and talented South Sydney five-eighth Luke Keary attended the Matt King Shield, an annual rugby league carnival between primary schools in Casino.
King has attended the past three carnivals after missing the first one when he was still playing in England.
He will be joined today by former Melbourne Storm teammates Matt Geyer and Dallas Johnson for more school visits and activities.
Australian Kangaroos halfback Cooper Cronk will be in Casino tomorrow just 24 hours after the Test match against New Zealand.
He will be guest speaker at a sportsmen's dinner at the Casino RSM Club.
"It's a big effort to get on a plane the day after a Test match and I'm thankful to Cooper for coming," King said.
"We want to raise some funds to build change rooms for the juniors.
"It will be great to get some support from the community and hopefully we get a big crowd at the game on Sunday too."
Tickets for the dinner are still available from the Casino RSM Club, phone 66621666.