NRL 2022: Inside James Segeyaro comeback, from tradie to Blacktown Workies and Manly Sea Eagles

James Segeyaro says he’s ready to achieve remarkable NRL comeback with a $1000 per-week train and trial contract for the Sea Eagles.

James Segeyaro says his determination to play his first NRL game in almost three-years has been lit by a training session pep-talk from Manly coach Des Hasler.

With new-found perspective and maturity, Segeyaro is edging closer towards a remarkable comeback that seemed impossible only 12-months ago, when he was working as a traffic controller and concreter.

“I’ve walked a million different shoes. I’ve been a tradie, controlling traffic and working for my (clothing) company,’’ Segeyaro said.

“With a lot of time out of the game, I’ve had a chance to reflect and understand to appreciate what you have.

“You don’t know what you have until you lose it.

“This is it for me now.

“I’d love to have a chance to play next week.’’

After six games playing with the Blacktown Workers (Manly‘s feeder club) in the NSW Cup, Segeyaro has earned a $1000 -per-week train and trial contract with the Sea Eagles.

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James Segeyaro has earned a train and trial deal with the Manly Sea Eagles. Picture: NRL Photos
James Segeyaro has earned a train and trial deal with the Manly Sea Eagles. Picture: NRL Photos

He will be eligible for NRL selection next week with Manly drawn to play Parramatta in round 11 on Friday night.

Given the Sea Eagles listless 38-0 nil defeat to the Broncos, the crafty dummy-half will be discussed as a genuine option by Hasler.

Segeyaro’s return through reserve grade comes after he spent 20 months on the sidelines for testing positive to a banned substance, which was ingested via a housemate’s blender.

Segeyaro said face-to-face feedback from Hasler last Tuesday lit a fuse inside him.

“Donny Singe (Manly trainer) was training me and Dessie came down onto the field and it was the best thing I needed at that point in time,” Segeyaro said.

“He was yelling in my ear and I haven’t had that over the past two years from someone like him.

“The passion he has, I felt it. For the head coach to come down and give me that oomph, was special.

“You’ve still got the fire “Chicko” (Segeyaro), is what he was yelling and that brings the best out of me.’’

Renowned for his creativity out of dummy-half, Segeyaro said he was focused on building his game to a level of consistency.

Segeyaro has impressed during his time playing for Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles in 2022. Picture: NRL Photos
Segeyaro has impressed during his time playing for Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles in 2022. Picture: NRL Photos

“One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that life is a process,’’ Segeyaro said.

“And that it’s about understanding that I was able to achieve something in rugby league for a reason and by going back to a step by step process of training, not getting bored with it and understanding it’s about being one per cent better from the day before.

“Coming back through the NSW Cup has allowed me to not rush myself and not be too hard on myself with pressure to perform.

“Everything hard in my life is done. I’ve done two years out.

“All the pressure is gone. I’ve done this, I’ve played in big games.

“So now (playing NRL) it would be just having fun. I know what it means to make a club debut.

“I know how overwhelming the week can be, but I‘m older enough and smart enough, so it’s just about really soaking it up.’’

Originally published as NRL 2022: Inside James Segeyaro comeback, from tradie to Blacktown Workies and Manly Sea Eagles

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