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UPDATE: Watts yet to be cleared by QRL to return for Waves

UPDATE FRIDAY 6PM

WAVES Tigers will hope the signing of former NRL player Anthony Watts will bring size, strength and experience to a relatively young team eager to win the competition.

Watts will join fellow former NRL second-rower Con Mika in the Tigers outfit.

Central Division manager Glenn Ottaway said Watts' case came across his desk on Thursday morning, and would not comment on whether the 28-year-old's history would prevent his return.

"There's a possibility he could be cleared by the weekend but we have to wait and see," Ottaway said.

Early yesterday afternoon, he had yet to be cleared.

Waves president and coach Russell Thomas said it would be great for local rugby league to have a player of Watts' capabilities involved in the game.

"Forget the notoriety, he is a human being and a very good footballer," Thomas said.

"We're quite prepared to give the gentleman a second chance," he said.

Thomas said the deal, which was announced on Wednesday, came about as both parties reached out to each other.

"A very good friend of mine, Steve Southern, is very close to Watts," he said.

"We've been talking about it for quite a while."

Thomas said Watts' experience playing rugby league at the highest level would be invaluable to the squad.

"That will be through training and showing what's required to get to the highest level to be competitive," he said.

He was last seen in the NRL in 2010 when he played for North Queensland Cowboys.

Watts' inclusion in the Tigers squad could not have come at a better time, with the side to take on premiership favourites Hervey Bay Seagulls.

The Seagulls were humbled last week, going down to Isis Devils 26-18.

However, Thomas said he would not underestimate a Hervey Bay side that had recruited well in 2015.

"As far as I'm concerned Hervey Bay are favourites for the comp," he said.

"It doesn't matter who beats who at this stage.

"Wait until we get to about round 10 or 11 to look at how things will pan out."

 

UPDATE: Former NRL star Anthony Watts' long history of indiscretions could come back to bite.

Watts' extensive rap sheet, which includes on-field issues in the NRL, his history as a bikie with the Finks Motorcycle Club, and an alleged penis-biting incident in 2013, will all be assessed before the Queensland Rugby League approve a clearance.

Central Division manager Glenn Ottaway said Watt's case came across his desk this morning, and would not comment on whether the 28-year-old's history would prevent his return.

"Everyone is well aware of his history but everything I know at this stage is what has been in newspapers," Ottaway said.

"We have to look into everything."

QRL is yet to clear the former Cronulla and North Queensland hooker to play for Waves Tigers in the Bundaberg Rugby League, with a decision to be made in coming days.

"There's a possibility he could be cleared by the weekend but we have to wait and see," Ottaway said.

EARLIER: Former NRL star Anthony Watts has officially been unveiled as Waves Tigers latest signing.

Watts will join fellow former NRL second-rower Con Mika in the Tigers outfit, who are building a solid side coach and president Russell Thomas hopes will challenge for the Bundaberg Rugby League's first grade title.

Watts is no stranger to headlines, with several unsavoury incidents punctuating a troubled career.

In 2013 he was at the centre of an incident in the Gold Coast's Bycroft Cup. Playing for Tugun Seahawks, Watts was accused of biting a Bilambil Jets player on the penis during a melee.

Watts denied the allegation, but was suspended for eight weeks.

"Trouble seems to find me but I'm going to try and stay out of it and be in my best behaviour," Watts told 7 Local News.

Watts, 28, was last seen in the NRL in 2010 when he played for North Queensland Cowboys.

He moved to Sydney Rooster on a three-year deal in 2011, but that move was unceremoniously cut short when he was allegedly involved in an altercation with his girlfriend. He was suspended by the Roosters and never played a first grade game for the side.

In 2012 he linked with English Super League side Widnes, and after showing good form in preseason games was expected to set the competition alight. His ESL season lasted only 10 minutes after he suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament, and was later released from his contract.

Watts turned his hand to boxing and won won his first professional fight in just 29 seconds.

His second bout was last year's much-hyped fight against Cronulla Sharks enforcer Paul Gallen. The fight lasted just 88 seconds as Watts suffered a shoulder injury.

Topics:  anthony watts bundaberg rugby league waves tigers



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