Mon­aghan no longer fly­ing Thun­der the radar

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NRL -

IT has been seven years in the mak­ing, but Joel Mon­aghan’s self-im­posed ex­ile is fi­nally over.

Mon­aghan starred on de­but for the Al­bury Thun­der in Fri­day’s West Bel­con­nen War­riors Nines tour­na­ment, scor­ing a dou­ble in a 12-4 win over Goul­burn.

The for­mer Kan­ga­roos flyer hasn’t played in Aus­tralia since his in­fa­mous Mad Mon­day stunt forced him to quit Can­berra and sign with English club War­ring­ton.

Fit­tingly, Mon­aghan has re­united with his for­mer Raiders team­mate Adrian Purtell at the Thun­der.

“The last time we played to­gether was in Can­berra in 2009, so it is very ex­cit­ing,” Purtell said.

“It’s just great to have a player of Joel’s abil­ity, plus he is a good bloke off the field as well.

“We lived to­gether in Eng­land for the best part of two years and we’ve kept in con­tact ever since.

“It is al­ways some­thing I joked about to all my for­mer team­mates to play for Al­bury, so it’s good to see one re­turn.”

Mon­aghan most likely won’t play ev­ery game for Al­bury dur­ing the Group 9 sea­son due to work com­mit­ments in Mel­bourne.

But Purtell is re­main­ing op­ti­mistic.

“Hope­fully we can get Joel up to Al­bury for a few games,” he said.

“I’d love to have him for ev­ery game, but I un­der­stand that work will be the main pri­or­ity for him now.

“We’ll just have to play it by ear. The first hur­dle was to get him reg­is­tered to play in the Nines and then we’ll just take the next step after that.

“Hope­fully he en­joys him­self this week­end and he wants to play a few more games.”

Joel Mon­aghan.

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