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Former Salford and Wakefield full-back eyes rugby league return

Kevin Locke has set his sights on rugby league redemption after four years away from the sport.

The 31-year-old left the game disgraced in 2016 after he and teammate Tim Smith were sacked by Wakefield Trinity for an off-the-field incident.

Locke then failed reignite his career at Manly and has spent the last few years working as a scaffolder with his dad.

“Life’s hard when you have to get on the tools in the cold and the wet,” he told Fox Sports. “It made me appreciate what I had and that was I quite lucky to have the world at my feet.

“But also my health and wellbeing was just as important. I went through a bit of trouble and it was difficult to overcome.”

Locke’s career was marred by a number of controversies in New Zealand and he was forced to move to England in 2014 after losing his NZ Warriors’ full-back spot to Sam Tomkins.

The shameful episode at Wakefield followed an unsuccessful stint at Salford, leaving him with a tarnished reputation and no future in the sport.

More than four years on, Locke’s hunger has now returned and he wants another shot at the big time.

“I have been playing rugby union the last few weeks and the spark is there and I’d be pumped to get another chance,” the eight-time Kiwi international explained.

“I’ve got a lot of experience under my belt and can come in and push the younger fellas. If someone wants to give me the opportunity I’d take it with both hands.

“It would be great to pass on my experience, to be able to get through what I have there’s been a lot of hard work away from the game.

“I know if I got back into the environment again, I’d take things in a different direction.

“I did wrong, I stuffed up. I’m not proud of it. I shouldn’t have called it quits and left the game how I did. If I was to be back, I just want to earn people’s respect.”

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