Jarrod Stephen Mullen (born 9 April 1987) is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer. A New South Wales State of Origin representative, he played at five-eighth and halfback. He played his entire career with the Newcastle Knights.
Mullen was provisionally suspended on 17 January 2017 by the NRL after his A-sample tested positive for an anabolic steroid. On 3 May 2017, he was suspended for 4 years under the League's Anti-Doping Policy. His suspension will expire on 16 January, 2021.
Born in Singleton, NSW, he moved to Newcastle with his family when he was nine. Son of Leeann and Steve Mullen, a former rugby league player who played for the Canterbury Bulldogs and Western Suburbs Magpies in the 1980s.
Jarrod played his first rugby league game aged seven for the Taree-Old Bar Lifesavers (now known as Taree Panthers). Two years later (after a brief stint playing soccer), Mullen relocated to Newcastle, where he continued his junior career with the Western Suburbs club. His first representative game was for St Therese's Primary School, New Lambton, in the Regional Knights Knockout competition, with the school winning the competition in 1996 and 1997. He played most of his junior football at five-eighth.
Mullen joined the Knights as a junior in 1997. He played five-eighth for the NSW under-17s in 2004.
While attending St. Francis Xavier's College in Hamilton, Mullen played for the Australian Schoolboys team in 2004 and 2005.
Coach Michael Hagan picked Mullen for the first-grade squad aged 18. His first grade debut was on 15 May 2005 at EnergyAustralia Stadium vs Wests Tigers in Round 10.
In 2007 Mullen was selected as starting five-eighth for the Knights. On 10 April 2007, the day after Mullen turned 20, Johns announced his shock retirement from rugby league due to a neck injury. Mullen became first-choice halfback. After playing nine first grade games as halfback and 31 games in total, he was a shock pick at that position for the New South Wales Blues in the 2007 State of Origin series. Mullen was dropped after one game, a match in which NSW let slip an 18-6 halftime lead to lose 25-18.
During a pre-season training session in November 2016, Mullen was tested, with the A-sample testing positive for an anabolic steroid and he was provisionally suspended on 17 January 2017 by the NRL. Mullen's B-sample tested positive to the steroid Drostanolone, confirmed by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency on 7 March 2017 and he was handed a Notice of Alleged Anti-Doping Rule Violations. Mullen is opting to challenge the matter with the anti-doping tribunal.
Mullen was selected in his first senior representative team, the Prime Minister's XIII, for a game against Papua New Guinea in 2006. He played with a young team in Port Moresby on 30 September, starting on the bench as a utility player. In 2007, he was picked for the New South Wales side. Mullen was not selected in the NSW State of Origin team for Game 2 due to a torn calf muscle. In opening rounds of 2008, Mullen again showed promise but succumbed to a calf injury in Round 4. Outstanding performances on his return against competition leaders Gold Coast and Melbourne thrust him back into Origin contention, jostling for the halfback spot with Brisbane's Peter Wallace, Manly's Matt Orford and Parramatta's Brett Finch.
Mullen has played for Country in the annual City vs Country on four occasions between 2009 and 2014.