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Dual international Wendell Sailor said a desire to go out on his own terms was his prime motivation after on Monday signing with St George Illawarra until the end of the 2009 NRL season.
Sailor will make his return to rugby league in the relative obscurity of the Jim Beam Cup with the Shellharbour Marlins this weekend.
His two-year doping ban after testing positive to cocaine while playing rugby union for the NSW Waratahs expired at the weekend.
The former Brisbane, Queensland and Australian rugby league star said he wanted to repay the Dragons for giving him a second chance.
"I'd like to thank Browny (Dragons coach Nathan Brown) and obviously the Dragons for giving me the opportunity to come back and to put things right and to finish on my terms," Sailor said on Monday.
"A lot of times in those two years you have regrets and you just want to move on ... there were some dark days there, days when I didn't think I could probably come back."
He will return on the wing for the Marlins against Erina in Shellharbour on Saturday night but Sailor said he wouldn't put a time frame on his return to the top grade.
Having previously stated that he viewed Sailor as more of a backrower, Brown said he would initially return as a winger.
"(He'll) definitely start on the wing but who knows where we could venture to," Brown said.
"We have got a fair few outside backs at the club at the moment."
Sailor played 185 first grade games for Brisbane before switching codes in 2001.