Emotional Doueihi shed a tear after try on return

Scott Bailey |

Adam Doueihi is happy to admit he shed a tear late in his NRL comeback match from a third ACL rupture.

After waiting 441 days to play first grade again, centre Doueihi latched onto an intercept late and ran 80 metres to score late in his West Tigers team’s 48-24 win over Canberra on Sunday.

Immediately, the 25-year-old was overcome by emotion.

Adam Doueihi raced away for an 80-metre try against the Raiders. (Mark Evans/AAP PHOTOS)

“I looked up and saw my family and friends in the grandstand,” Doueihi said.

“They have rode the wave with me the past 14 months. The support from the crowd, and the whole NRL and Tigers community has been unreal for me.

“It’s a mixture of emotions. Fourteen months was a long time for me. With my history of injuries, it wasn’t a fun rehab. 

“To be back playing first grade was a goal of mine. Emotions were high, energy levels were high.”

Doueihi is a man who has been to hell and back through his NRL career.

He has not played anything close to a full season since 2020, with two knee reconstructions since then to go with another in 2018.

In Doueihi’s mind, he has been ready to return for some time.

He is adamant the injuries are now behind, and has been bugging coach Benji Marshall for the past month about getting back on the field.

Even on Saturday night, Marshall called him triple-checking that he was fine to come back into first grade after only one match in NSW Cup.

Doueihi never had any doubts, nor nerves over his fitness in reserve grade last week or the NRL on Sunday.

“I said (to Benji) no need to ask that. I’ve been ready to go for a while now,” Doueihi, who signed a one-year extension with the Tigers last week, said.

“It’s tough, but that (period in injury rehab), you just have to attack it. There is no point sitting and sooking about it. 

“I knew I wanted to come back to this position and get back playing again. Fourteen months can go slow, especially in that period. 

“But I stayed positive that whole time. I was just ripping in day by day and ticking off goals I was setting. Now back playing consistent footy, it’s all past me now.”

A fullback or five-eighth for most his career, Doueihi is happy to stay in the centres for now. 

He looked dangerous on the left, and linked nicely with five-eighth Lachlan Galvin against Canberra.

The Lebanon international also spent time roaming at the back and on the right at different points in attack.

It was something the Tigers didn’t discuss before Sunday, but now looks likely to continue while Doueiji remains in the centres.

“That’s just how the game felt,” Doueihi said. 

“The opportunity come up for me to roam on both sides. Benji said at halftime just keep doing that. He backs me.”