Russell Packer has received the support of several of his fellow NRL players as he faces possible deportation back to New Zealand.
An online petition at Change.Org supporting Packer has attracted over 1700 signatures including some stars of the game like Konrad Hurrell and Jacob Lillyman.
Manu Ma’u, the Parramatta back-rower who turned his life around after being sentenced to three years jail for his part in an Auckland street brawl, also put his name to the petition.
“Everybody deserves a second chance and he is proven that he is worthy of it,” Ma’u wrote.
Warriors wrecking ball Konrad Hurell wrote: “He deserve a second chance. We all don’t support what happen but he’s done his time he change his life around for the benefit of his family and I will support him all the way.”
Packer is training with St George Illawarra after being handed a lifeline by the club but is facing an uncertain future.
Federal Immigration Minister Peter Dutton cast doubt on Packer’s NRL return last month when he said he was considering cancelling the New Zealand-born prop’s visa.
Packer spent a year in prison after being found guilty of assault occasioning bodily harm in January last year for a street fight in which he stomped on the head of his victim.
Packer was not allowed to play for the Dragons NRL side this year, spending the season with the Illawarra Cutters and was named in the NSW Cup team of the year.