By STEVE MASCORD
WHETHER or not he plays, Anthony Gelling says just walking through the gates of Allianz Stadium this Saturday will be an act of catharsis.
The 23-year-old Cook Islands international was dramatically sacked by Sydney Roosters in 2010 when he was found, along with team-mate Sam Brunton, to have defecated in a hotel room.
It’s been a long road back for Gelling, who is fighting for a spot in the Wigan backline for the first World Club Challenge to be played in Australia for two decades.
“It’s huge … to go back to my old club where I played 20s and I’ve not played in Aussie since,” Gelling tells League Week.
“It’s a good opportunity. I feel like I’ve gone full circle since I left. I left there when I was 18, 19. All the footy I’ve played since, all the travel I’ve done, just maturing … it’s kind of a credit to myself, really.
“It will be great to go back and see all the people involved in the day and the people coming along to watch who have supported me along the way. To play will be awesome.”
Gelling hopes to earn a second chance and eventually return to the NRL. “I’d love to, it’s always been a dream to play NRL,” he said. “But I’ll focus on what’s ahead and that’s Super League.”
The lanky threequarter says the competition for places in the Wigan side was responsible for a blazing 30-points-without-reply finish to last Wednesday’s 46-22 win over the Warriors in Hamilton.
“He threw some of the fringe players on at the end and everyone’s pushing for a place,” said Gelling. “It’s a huge game for our club, particularly with the proud history we have. It showed with our defence and our attack.
“The tough thing, going into big games, is that the week before you’ve already got your eye on what’s ahead of you. It kind of happened to us before the Challenge Cup last year – we got touched up by Catalan in France.”
Filed for: RUGBY LEAGUE WEEK