Thomas Minns has been handed a career lifeline by Hull KR, less than a year after he was sacked by the club for testing positive for cocaine. The 24-year-old has signed a six-month deal and will be available to play once his drugs ban ends on July 15 (James O’Brien Hull Daily Mail)
(Picture Hull KR)
Minns can return to a professional environment to train from June 1 and has the chance to resurrect his career in the second half of the Super League season.
“I’m absolutely over the moon to be back here. It’s been a long journey, I’ve learned a lot about myself and I’ve put a lot of wrongs right in my life,” he told Hull KR TV.
“I really appreciate Mike (Smith, CEO), Neil (Hudgell, owner) and Tim (Sheens, head coach) for offering me a second chance to represent this great club and I am raring to go.
“I cannot wait for that first time when I get to pull on that Hull KR jersey again. It’ll be quite an emotional day for me and my family.
“When I received my ban, Neil, Mike and Tim got a lot of support for me through my psychiatrist, so we’ve always been in touch with regards to them helping me, checking up on me.
“They were great in that respect and we kept on speaking as friends so to speak.
“We were coming up to the date to return to training and had a chat about potentially coming back to the club. It was brilliant of them to even think of that – a lot of clubs who have been in similar situations haven’t done that so I appreciate it.
“I want to keep up that try-scoring record that I have here at the Robins. I’m going to bring a lot of enthusiasm and I have a totally different outlook on life now.
“I want to help people who are struggling too, but also want to put my personal thoughts to one side and concentrate on rugby whereas before, it wasn’t like that.
“I came to see a lot of the boys the other day and it felt like I’d never left – we reminisced on good memories.
“The club aren’t in the best of positions at the moment but I hope I can lift the mood and when I play I will absolutely give 100 per cent like I always did.”
The former Leeds Rhinos and London Broncos centre had his KR contract terminated last July after an extended period of leave from the club following a failed drugs test.
He was given a 16-month ban by UK Anti-Doping, which was backdated to the date of the sample collection on March 15, 2018, following the match with Huddersfield Giants.
Minns’ final appearance for Rovers came in the win over Widnes Vikings last April but he can now look forward to a second stint at Craven Park.
He originally joined KR ahead of the 2016 season and scored 34 tries in 49 appearances during his first spell, helping the club return to Super League at the first attempt.
Minns left the club on good terms and had spoken of his desire to make 2019 his year.
The Leeds-born three-quarter will now have the opportunity to do just that, with the July 21 date with Huddersfield at Craven Park set to be his comeback appearance.
The Robins had room in their squad following the departures of Joe Wardill, Nick Scruton and Lee Jewitt.