Cory Paterson says he has his hunger back for Rugby League after a brief stint in professional boxing and he is excited to be joining Salford.
The Australian, who spent the 2013 season with Hull KR, retired abruptly three months ago and became a heavyweight boxer after finishing the 2014 NRL campaign with West Tigers.
The 27-year old won his second professional bout on November 12, in the first round against Michael Lua Tama, but has decided to hang up the gloves for now and return to Super League.
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“You’re a long time retired and I got a bit of hunger back from having a bit of time off,” Paterson told League Express.
“The opportunity came up to join Salford and I’m grateful to the club for showing a bit of faith in me. I realise I can go back to boxing in a year or two, and still be successful in that.”
Paterson has signed a one-year deal with the Red Devils with the option of another year.
“I’m very interested in boxing but I ticked it off and did it well, and I suppose if I hadn’t done it then it would have been a downer,” Paterson said.
“But now I’m just excited to be playing footy and enjoying myself, which is what it’s all about.”
The backrower only made nine NRL appearances for the Tigers in 2014, scoring one try and averaging eleven tackles, three hit-ups and 66 metres per game.
He made his NRL debut with Newcastle in 2007 and also spent two seasons with North Queensland. In 2013 he scored seven tries in 17 games for Hull KR before leaving the club on compassionate grounds. He knows the pressure will be on the Red Devils next season.
“Everyone knows the expectations are high,” he said.
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“The club’s putting every necessary step in place to be successful, so it’s up to the boys at Salford now to work really hard and gel as a team and put the performances on the board.”
Paterson is expected to arrive in the UK on December 29.
“I’ll be in good shape,” he said.
“Boxing has probably made me the fittest I’ve ever been. I’ve been training hard, so physically it won’t be too hard when I get there.”