5 Mar 2010

Toopi set to make return to National Rugby League

6:23 pm on 5 March 2010

The former Warriors centre Clinton Toopi is poised to make a surprise National Rugby league comeback with the Gold Coast Titans against the club where he made his name.

The former Kiwi international is vying for a backline spot for when Titans host the Warriors in the opening round of the season next Sunday.

Toopi, signed a one year deal with the Titans yesterday despite reservations about the state of his injury-ravaged knees.

Capped 21 times for the Kiwis between 2002 and 2007, Toopi's career seemed on the wane once he ended his 129-game first grade career at the Warriors and relocated to the English Super League and Leeds at the end of the 2006 season.

Injuries confined him to just 15 games before he was released in 2008 - he then returned home to briefly switch codes to play rugby for Bay of Plenty.

Toopi was named in the Steamers' Air NZ Cup squad last year but more injury issues effectively sidelined him after the pre-season trials.