Storm give Earl a second chance in NRL

Oct 27, 2017 - 4:57 AM Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy has said banned winger Sandor Earl deserved a second chance after the Storm confirmed they'd signed him to a one-year NRL deal.

Earl was the biggest NRL casualty of ASADA's 2013 darkest-day-in-sport investigation, copping a four-year ban for peptide trafficking.

But the former Sydney Roosters, Penrith and Canberra winger's time in exile is now officially over, as he will commence training with the defending premiers.

"While he has been sidelined, he has maintained his fitness levels to a high level. Anyone that is prepared to put in the work after what he has been through deserves a second chance," Storm coach Craig Bellamy said.

"(He) has taken responsibility for his mistake in judgement and will be a good addition to our team."

Earl played 43 games for the Roosters, Panthers and Raiders between 2009 and 2013, before he was suspended.

The 28-year-old long pleaded ignorance over the case, after he claimed he saw controversial sports scientist Stephen Dank over an ongoing shoulder injury.

After losing an appeal against the ban, he spent the majority of his four years in Thailand but hinted at his signing with the Storm on his Facebook page earlier this week.

"I have overcome adversity and ultimately that will set me up for the greatest success," he wrote.

"A new club opens the door to a group that will become family and brothers. I walk in a new man armed with a fresh perspective full of new goals and an extremely positive outlook on the future."

Earl was unveiled among a host of signings for Melbourne, which included the sons of former rugby league stars Matthew Johns and Kevin Walters.

Cooper Johns' one-year deal with the Storm capped off a big week for the Johns family, with eldest son Jack set to debut for Italy, at halfback, in the Rugby League World Cup on Sunday.

Cooper, 17, is also a playmaker much like his father Matthew and uncle Andrew Johns.

Meanwhile, five-eighth Billy Walters had previously attracted interest from Brisbane before joining Melbourne.

Both Johns and Walters fathers have previously worked for the Storm as assistant coaches.

Source: AAP

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