Former Kiwis captain Benji Marshall concedes his team-mate Russell Packer was a "horrible person" before his 12-month jail stint for a vicious assault.
However, Marshall believes his St George Illawarra team-mate has sufficiently rehabilitated to deserve another chance at playing in the NRL.
The club has given the former Warriors prop a lifeline.
Packer left New Zealand to take up a lucrative deal with the Newcastle Knights, but lost that contract with his conviction.
His return to rugby league has been cleared by the NRL ahead of the 2016 season, but the Australian Immigration Department is yet to say whether he will be deported from Australia due to his conviction.
The Daily Telegraph in Sydney has suggested it could be another two weeks before a decision on Packer is made.