McQueen fit and ready to growl at Tigers

Chris McQueen Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

Chris McQueen expects to be fit to play in the Wests Tigers' pre-season trials after recovering from the neck surgery that saved his career.

Former Queensland Origin star McQueen went under the knife last July and missed the back end of his last season with the Gold Coast Titans in a bid to be fit for the start of this year with his new club.

He began training with the Tigers at the start of the pre-season, but only returned to contact training in recent weeks after receiving final clearance from doctors this month.

McQueen is one of several new faces at the Tigers this season desperate to impress, with up to seven members of their round-one team likely to be recruits.

"I know I've got three weeks to our first trial (February 17, North Queensland) so I'll keep building up and I'm expecting to trial," McQueen said.

"I want to. I feel like I need it just as a top-up for fitness for where I'm going to be."

"Obviously after neck surgery and after dealing with that issue for so long it's natural to be nervous... confidence is something I do need to build up but I'm getting there."

McQueen battled neck pain for the majority of last season before doctors made the decision to remove and replace a disc that was pressing on nerves.

The surgery means there should be no ongoing pain or flare-ups as a result of the previous injury. It was a decision McQueen knew would allow him to try and revitalise his career after he became a premiership winner and representative player at South Sydney in 2014.

It cost him a spot in England's World Cup squad after he played for Wayne Bennett's team in a mid-year Test, but he is already starting to see the silver lining.

"It just got to a point where it wasn't going to be an option," he said.

"I decided to have the surgery then and there and that would get me fully fit and ready for round one this year"

"We haven't had to rush anything; we've taken our time on everything.

"I know Kyle Turner at Souths had the same surgery as me and was back in 15 weeks.

"He was rushed through with his timing so I was certainly blessed to have a bit more time up my sleeve."