Former Wests Tigers centre Taane Milne has been given an NRL lifeline by the New Zealand Warriors, signing a two-year deal with the club.
The Sunday Telegraph reported the deal, which stemmed from a handwritten letter sent by Milne to Warriors coach Stephen Kearney.
Milne was sacked by the Tigers during the 2018 NRL season after turning in a second positive drug test. His note to Kearney was simple.
"I told him I'm not a drug addict," Milne told the Telegraph. "I wrote to him — spelling errors and all — telling him that I wanted to play in the NRL again. That I owned up to my errors and I was on the right track. I knew I could offer something to the club."
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According to the Telegraph, Warriors skipper Roger Tuivasa-Sheck reached out to offer support, as did the man who recruited Milne to the Roosters earlier in his career, Warriors recruitment manager Peter O'Sullivan.
Milne leaves for New Zealand today will start pre-season training with the Warriors tomorrow.
The 23-year-old was born in Auckland and has represented Fiji on six occasions, and realises the opportunity he has been given at the Warriors after his mistake with the Tigers led him to a "wake-up call".
"I don't have a drug problem," Milne said. "I made a mistake. A really costly one and I embarrassed myself and my family. I felt so much embarrassment.
"It was my fault though and I can't blame anyone else. I did this to me. But I have learnt so much. I've grown up. I had a really good job and I lost it all.
"I thought my NRL career was done and people would just remember as a guy who had a drug problem. I want to use this to help people. Only now am I comfortable speaking about what I did.
"Alcohol was a factor and I've been off it for months. I've made a promise to myself not to drink the entire pre-season."