Support for Packer grows in battle to stay in Australia


Over 1,500 people have signed an online petition pleading with the Australian government to not deport New Zealander Russell Packer.

The former Kiwi international was sentenced to two years in prison last year after being found guilty of assaulting a man on a night out.

He was released from jail earlier this year and has been offered a chance to revive his Rugby League career with St George Illawarra. However that move will be scuppered if the Australian immigration office cancel his visa.

The case is currently being reviewed, with the immigration minister Peter Dutton admitting his future in the country is under threat.

It has prompted many people to rush to the support of the former Newcastle forward, with a petition set up on

The Australian Rugby League Commission chairman John Grant has also defended Packer.

The petition’s statement read: “NRL player Russell Packer has done his time. Why should he be deported because of 1 mistake he has turned his life around and is a productive member of society,”