Deregistered NRL player Tim Simona to revive career in France

Disgraced former NRL player Tim Simona has joined a French side with hopes of reviving his professional rugby league career.

The 29-year-old has been signed by Lezignan, in the French Elite One competition, after making his comeback with Manly's feeder team in the NSW Cup this year.

Tim Simona, seen playing here for Blacktown Workers, hasn’t given up on returning to the NRL.Credit:NRL Photos

The former Wests Tigers centre was deregistered from the NRL in 2017 for betting on games, and was later convicted of auctioning signed jerseys for charity but using the money raised to gamble.

However, the Samoa representative is still hopeful of making a return to top-flight professional rugby league with his latest move.

"I want to get back on my feet and prove that I can still play in NRL or Super League", Simona said in a statement released by Lezignan.

Simona played 79 NRL games with the Tigers before he was deregistered in March of 2017.

He was registered to play in the NSW Cup this year after penning a letter to the NRL explaining the past two years had been the "hardest of his life" and detailing his rehabilitation from gambling and drug addictions.

Simona scores for the Tigers before his life and career unravelled.Credit:Anthony Johnson

He played six games for Blacktown Workers in the NSW Cup in 2019, scoring three tries.

Simona had previously been linked with Hull Kingston Rovers and Toronto Wolfpack in the Super League as an avenue to revive his career.

"This is a great opportunity for the club, his high-level experience will be beneficial for the entire team," Lezignan co-president Alain Fabr said of Simona.

"He is a fabulous player, very spectacular who will bring the world to the stadium, I hope."

AAP

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