Cronulla Sharks great Paul Gallen has hinted he is considering making a return to the NRL, naming the New Zealand Warriors as a potential club.
The Warriors have been based in Tamworth, New South Wales for the last two and a half weeks in quarantine as they prepare for the restart of the NRL season next week but they have struck by key injuries.
Prop Leeson Ah Mau (pectoral muscle) and lock Jazz Tevaga (knee) suffered long-term injury blows in Tamworth after the club had already look prop Bunty Afoa and hooker Jackson Frei to injuries.
Warriors CEO Cameron George said other NRL clubs had offered players on loan but it was brushed back by the competition. That leaves retired players as the best option if the Warriors needed any help.
Gallen, who retired last season after playing 348 games for the Sharks, said he would consider putting on the Warriors jersey.
"The Warriors have done such an amazing job to get over here to Australia, so many sacrifices to get the game going again, you'd like to think we could help them out as much as possible," Gallen told 2GB on Tuesday.
"I tell you what, we've got until June 30 and I heard Billy Slater say he'd come back and play, Sam Thaiday today said he'd come back and play.
"I reckon between the three of us you'd get 10 or 15 games out, so why not, give me a call.
"The sacrifices they made, I would consider it."
George said discussions will continue with the NRL about the possibility of loaning a player.
"We've been declined already from the NRL for loan players. So were going to have a second discussion with them," George said.
"We've got significant injuries in one particular part of our squad, in key positions. So to simply say 'You've still got 28 players', well they all can't play front row.
"So we need to go back to the drawing table with the NRL and give them a very clear understanding of who we have and what we don't have available, particularly in the middle."
An NRL spokesman said that player loans were "against the rules of the competition"