Off-contract NRL star Josh Mansour rejected a bid from the New South Wales Liberal Party to have him run for government at the next state election, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.
A member of Dom Perrottet’s government approached Mansour, who is without a rugby league deal for 2023, to oppose Labor leader Chris Minns in the marginal seat of Kogarah.
Mansour denied the request after giving consideration to a switch from rugby league to politics.
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« It started as a conversation to see if I was interested in trying to make a difference, » Mansour told the Herald.
« As much as I was flattered to be considered and approached, I gave it some thought and decided against taking up the opportunity.
« I want to focus on my young family. I also still believe I have something to offer in the NRL. I’m not giving up hope of continuing my career. I’m training hard and holding out hope that an opportunity in the NRL will present itself. »
Mansour, who is of Lebanese and Portuguese decent, was identified by the Liberal Party as a man capable of luring a significant number of votes from the ethnic community.
Mansour has represented Australia, Lebanon and NSW, and claimed the Dally M winger of the year award in 2016, but the 32-year-old may have played his last game in the NRL.
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After arriving at the Rabbitohs following 158 appearances for the Panthers, he managed only 16 games across two seasons with South Sydney.
The likes of Alex Johnston and Jaxson Paulo were preferred by coach Jason Demetriou.
« I know I can still play in the NRL, » Mansour said.
« I’m still in the best shape of my career and haven’t stopped training. I’m not ready for a new chapter just yet. I still believe I have something to offer an NRL team with my experience. »
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