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3 days ago
Former rugby league bad boy Julian O'Neill says he is "content" playing in England, but hasn't ruled out a comeback to the National Rugby League.
O'Neill is in Australia to play with Super League club Widnes in this weekend's World Sevens tournament at Sydney's Aussie Stadium.
He left for England to play with Wigan in 2001 and joined Widnes last year.
It is his first time playing in Australia since leaving North Queensland after a decade-long, 205-game first grade career for Brisbane, the Western Reds, Souths and the Cowboys.
O'Neill said he did miss playing in Australia but said he was very happy at Widnes.
"Of course you miss it (the NRL), you never know, one day it might happen again, who knows, but just at the moment I'm content," O'Neill said.
"It's a great atmosphere, the directors are great, (coach) Neil (Kelly) is especially great and we've got a good nucleus of youth and experience in the side."
O'Neill was sacked by Brisbane in 1995 after reports of misbehaviour at a casino and joined the London Broncos, but was quickly released after a drink-driving incident.
He joined Perth's Western Reds but fell out with both them and his next club, South Sydney.
For a time, rugby league officials refused to sanction O'Neill's return to the game until he received appropriate counselling.
He admitted that he did carry some baggage from his previous indiscretions.
"A lot of it's all hyped up but that's something I've got to drag around with me," he said.
"I'm just taking it day by day with the missus and my young boys ... we're just enjoying life and that's what I wanted to do in the last two, three years of my career."
Widnes finished ninth on the Super League table last season, with 12 wins from 28 games.
O'Neill said they were a team on the rise, and playing in the sevens would provide valuable experience.
"I just think it's good to come back for a tournament like this, it's light-hearted and it gives Neil a chance to look at the diversity in our side," O'Neill said.
"We've got a lot of young talent coming through and I just think it's a real good platform for us to jump into the season next year."