Troubled St George-Illawarra prop Russell Packer has been cleared to make his NRL return next season after being granted permission to stay in Australia by immigration authorities.
Despite his playing contract being signed off by the NRL, there were fears the former Kiwi Test player would be deported to New Zealand due to his criminal conviction.
Packer spent 12 months in prison for an assault in Sydney in 2013 before playing for 12 months with the Dragons’ feeder team, the Illawarra Cutters, in the NSW Cup.
“The Dragons have been advised by Russell Packer’s legal team of the positive outcome with respect to his immigration status,” the club said in a statement.
“The Dragons and Russell respect the process, are pleased by the outcome and have no further comment to make on the situation.
“Russell’s position at the Dragons remains unchanged, in that he continues to train full-time in preparation for the 2016 season.”