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Reuben returns for Devils in 2023

Jon Reuben is back at Norths Devils, a club he feels that he never really left.

The decorated winger was gone for 12 months, taking an opportunity with St George Illawarra Dragons in the NRL after starring in the Devils’ 2021 premiership.

Reuben made his NRL debut a few months ago against the North Queensland Cowboys in his home city of Townsville. It was a treasured night, playing in front of the family and friends who had shared his decade-long journey to the top grade.

But even during his NRL stint, alongside another 2021 Devils premiership winner in Michael Molo, Reuben still felt his connection to Norths.

He was in the stands when the Devils claimed back-to-back premierships in September.

And he has now signed a contract for 2023 to play under his former schoolteacher Dave Elliott, reigniting a Hostplus Cup career that has Reuben rated as one of the competitions best-ever wingers.

“Once you’ve worn that Devils jersey, you’re just always a part of this club,” Reuben said.

“I was gone for 12 months but I still knew that I was part of this club. It’s hard to describe it but it’s the culture that has been built here around belonging.

“That’s why people want to come back and play here. It’s a family-oriented club, the guys get along so well off the field and there are no egos.

“I just can’t wait to get playing again.”

Reuben will enter his third decade playing under new Devils coach Elliott.

They first teamed up in 2008 at Townsville’s Ignatius Park College, where Elliott coached their highly rated footy team and also taught Reuben.

They teamed up again at the Townsville Blackhawks when Elliott was an assistant coach.

And now they’re back at Bishop Park after Elliott was appointed following his role with Mackay Cutters this season.

“I was having a laugh with Dave, saying ‘here we go again’,” Reuben said.

“He was a good schoolteacher and he’s become a very good coach. I’ve always enjoyed working with him and I know he’ll give this everything he has.”

Reuben’s 2021 season was stunning in many ways.

He was the competition’s winger of the year, he surged past 100 competition tries at record pace and he shone in the big games, handling twice in the unforgettable try that landed the premiership at Bishop Park.

Reuben will link again with Devils skipper Jack Ahearn, continuing a close friendship on and off the field that stretches to when they were fresh out of school in the Canberra Raiders system, featuring in the NRL Under 20 team of the year in 2013.

“It’s great to play again with Jack. We’ve been through a lot together,” Reuben said.

“He’s such a good leader and players want to be beside him on the field.

“But there are so many players here I’m looking forward to playing with again. It’s going to be fun.”

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