Former NRL star Jamal Idris has declared himself ready for a return to the game, and has already received interest from a number of clubs to play next season.
The 26-year-old hasn’t appeared in the NRL since being released by Penrith late in 2015 to contemplate his future in rugby league, taking an indefinite leave of absence.
But after embarking on a worldwide journey of self-discovery that spanned 12 countries in less than 12 months, Idris is now keen on making a comeback to the competition.
“My plan honestly is, it’s going to sound silly, but I never really had that mentally where I want to push myself to be the best that I can to be,” Idris told Foxtel’s On the Couch with Sterlo program.
“I’m the bloke that will sit there in a scrum and joke and laugh with the opposition. But I want to get there. I want to actually get to the pinnacle and see what I can do.”
The former Canterbury, Gold Coast and Penrith centre said he has dealt with his anxiety issues that plagued the first eight seasons of his career, which included NSW Origin and Kangaroos call-ups.
He also denied suffering problems with alcohol.
“My anxiety was the main thing. I’d go out, I’d walk past someone on the street and I’d see them make eye contact and I stand out like a sore thumb,” he said.
“For me personally when I started travelling, that’s all when it all started unravelling and then I could see the game for the purity of it, without the rest of it.”
Idris said he has recovered from the knee reconstruction that wrote off his 2015 season at the Panthers, and has left his contract status in the hands of his manager.
“He said to me one thing, `I don’t want you thinking about it. I’ll sort it out and then when it all comes to a head, then I’ll talk to you about it’,” Idris said.
“Ever since I got back, I’ve pretty much been training when I can.”