All Blacks scrum-half TJ Perenara interested in rugby league switch

TJ Perenara has played 69 Tests for New Zealand
TJ Perenara has played 69 Tests for New Zealand

New Zealand scrum-half TJ Perenara has confirmed interest in switching codes to rugby league following an approach from Sydney Roosters.

Perenara has played 69 Tests for the All Blacks since his international debut in 2014 and was also part of their victorious 2015 World Cup campaign. He was also part of the Super Rugby club Hurricanes between 2012 and 2020 and is currently involved with Japanese Top League side NTT Red Hurricanes.

In an interview with New Zealand website Stuff, Perenara said he is in direct talks with Roosters coach Trent Robinson and is yet to make a final decision. The 29-year-old also revealed that even if he makes a switch to rugby league, he is aiming to make a return back to the union ahead of the 2023 World Cup to be played in France.

“It’s definitely genuine from both parties,” he said.

“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. In contract years I've often thought about it.

“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.

“There's no decision yet. There’s a few options on the table but I haven't made a decision.

“I wanted to make a conscious decision to focus on the games at hand [in Japan].”

Meanwhile, Beauden Barrett and Brodie Retallick, who are currently playing in Japan will not be part of the upcoming trans-Tasman competition which is set to kick-off from 14th May.