Martin eyes NRL return with Broncos

George Clarke |

Former New Zealand international Te Maire Martin is eyeing off a return to the NRL a year after he was forced to retire with a bleed on the brain.

The fullback/five-eighth inked a one-year development contract with Brisbane on Friday and will be made available to Broncos affiliate club Wynnum-Manly in the Queensland Cup.

Martin, now 26, enjoyed an encouraging start to his NRL career which began with Penrith in 2016. 

A smooth, elusive ball-runner, Martin moved to North Queensland midway through 2017 and featured in the club’s grand final loss the same year.

His career then took a sudden turn when he discovered he had a bleed on the brain after suffering from searing pain in his head on a flight back to Townsville from Sydney in 2019.

And his 55-game NRL career looked to be over when he announced his retirement from the game in January 2020 on the advice of specialists.

But after returning to play at an amateur level in his native New Zealand last year, the four-cap Kiwi has received medical clearance to make an unlikely comeback.

“It’s great to see Te Maire back in an NRL system,” said Broncos football manager Ben Ikin.

“Prior to his brain injury, he was one hell of a player – hugely skilful and a very dangerous ball runner.

“Te Maire joins us on a development list contract and I’ve no doubt will be pushing some of our other notable candidates to partner Adam Reynolds in the halves.”