Roosters coach Trent Robinson hopeful of having Mark Nawaqanitawase by end of month

Mark Nawaqanitawase signed a deal to join Sydney Roosters in the NRL for the 2025 season
Mark Nawaqanitawase signed a deal to join Sydney Roosters in the NRL for the 2025 season

Roosters coach Trent Robinson hopes to bring Mark Nawaqanitawase to the club by the end of the month.

The Wallabies star is expected to join Australia’s Olympics squad before being granted an early release to switch codes.

Nawaqanitawase signed a two-year deal last December to join the Roosters in 2025. However, after being left out of the Wallabies squad for this month’s Tests, there has been a push to expedite his move so he can spend some time playing rugby league this season.

Robinson confirmed after the game on Sunday that they were on track to sign Nawaqanitawase for the rest of the season by Monday’s deadline. However, he wouldn’t be available until late July when the sevens program in Paris concludes.

If finalised, Robinson insists that his star recruit would need ample time to adjust to the new sport, likely starting in the NSW Cup, where the Roosters are currently second last.

“We’re hopeful of getting that through, but it’s more to have the ability to get him going,” he said.

“I haven’t got an NRL focus for him. I’ve got a transition into rugby league focus and getting him training, if possible, and playing some reserve grade would be ideal. And then it’s up to him with how he adapts.

“The focus is definitely not NRL. There’s not a view on NRL anytime soon.

“We’ve got a spot available to do that, but we want to get his feet on the ground to get his understanding (of rugby league).

“That’ll give him a really good view for the pre-season about ‘when I did this or that, I should have moved here’.

“That would really help us adapt through the pre-season with him. That would be the goal.”