Disgraced former Wests Tigers centre Tim Simona has returned to rugby league with a surprise appearance for Manly feeder side Blacktown in their NSW Cup clash with South Sydney.
Three years after being banned indefinitely by the NRL for betting on games including placing money on rival teams, Simona was a late inclusion for Blacktown in Saturday's 30-22 win over the Rabbitohs in a curtain raiser to Souths' first-grade win over Manly.
A NRL spokesman confirmed Simona had not had a contract registered or been cleared to make a NRL return.
In March 2017, NRL chief Todd Greenberg said: "Based on the evidence we have identified, it is very hard to imagine that Tim Simona will be registered with the NRL at any time in the future."
Simona was later given an 18-month good behaviour bond for auctioning signed jerseys for charity and keeping the money to feed his gambling and drug habits.
Manly officials have declined to comment on Simona, given he is signed to Blacktown and does not have a contract with the NRL side.
He was a late addition to the Blacktown side in the No.14 jumper.
His NSWRL contract was cleared earlier this month, despite the NRL's stance.
Australian Associated Press