TJ Perenara says there is ‘genuine interest from both parties’ after approach from NRL side Sydney Roosters; the All Blacks scrum-half played rugby league as a youngster; Perenara: “There’s a few options on the table but I haven’t made a decision”
Last Updated: 27/04/21 12:01pm
All Blacks scrum-half TJ Perenara has confirmed his interest in making a switch to rugby league after an approach from Sydney Roosters.
Roosters coach Trent Robinson approached the 69-cap international’s management about the possibility of a stint in the 13-man code earlier this month.
“(The interest is) definitely genuine from both parties,” Perenara told Stuff.
“It’s something that would be a challenge but it’s something that I’ve thought about throughout the course of my career.
“I played league when I was a little bit younger. I’ve often thought about it.”
Sonny Bill Williams alternated two stints at the Roosters with winning Rugby World Cups in the All Blacks team, playing as a forward in league and a back in union.
Perenara, 29, would probably play as a hooker in league, a position where the Roosters have a vacancy after losing stalwart Jake Friend to retirement this month.
“I feel the game for a hooker suits the style of game I like to play, even knowing that there will be more tackles in league,” said Perenara, who is currently playing in Japan with NTT Red Hurricanes.
“There’s no decision yet. There’s a few options on the table but I haven’t made a decision.”
Former Wallabies coach Michael Cheika, a close friend of Robinson who worked as a consultant for the Roosters last year, said last week he thought Perenara had the tools to succeed in league.
“He has a great running game. He is physical with it. He can kick and he can distribute with all type of pressure on him,” Cheika told The Australian newspaper.
“The other thing you see pretty clearly is that he is obviously really well respected because he is called on to lead the haka. That is a pretty big deal over there.”