South Sydney have thrown troubled former Queensland centre Dane Nielsen a lifeline, signing him to a two-year NRL deal.
Nielsen shapes as a replacement for Dylan Walker who departed for Manly in the wake of the prescription drug scandal.
The 30-year-old Nielsen was sacked by St George Illawarra in May last year following an alcohol-fuelled nightclub incident in which he was accused of biting a woman on the leg and getting into a heated argument with Cronulla utility Ben Barba.
He picked up the pieces of his career with English Super League club Bradford in the back end of last year before on Monday signing with the Rabbitohs for the 2016 and 2017 seasons.
Despite his troubled past, coach Michael Maguire hailed Nielsen as a big-game player who would inject much-needed experience.
Nielsen earned three State of Origins caps for the Maroons in 2011-12 and has played 111 NRL games, including the 2009 and 2012 grand finals with Melbourne.
“Dane brings with him big game experience which will be invaluable for the young members of our backline,” Maguire said.
“He’s prepared to put in the work and fight for a spot in our backline.”
The Rabbitohs squad has undergone major upheaval ahead of the forthcoming season.
The club was forced to shed Walker, back-rower Chris McQueen and prop Tim Grant to make salary cap space for the return of superstar Sam Burgess from rugby union.
They also lost New Zealand Test hooker Issac Luke to the Warriors.