All Black makes call on cross-code switch

All Black star TJ Perenara has signed a new Super Rugby contract following weeks of speculation the NRL’s Sydney Roosters were keen to secure his services.

After the medical retirement of Roosters co-captain Jake Friend earlier this year, reports emerged that Perenara could pack his bags for Bondi and take over as the Tricolours’ hooker for the remainder of the year.

The 29-year-old would have been a welcome addition for the depleted Roosters, who have lost the likes of Luke Keary, Brett Morris and Lindsay Collins to season-ending injuries.

However, Perenara will stay put in the 15-man code, inking a new two-and-a-half year deal with the Hurricanes on Monday.

“My wife and I have decided to come back to the Hurricanes and New Zealand Rugby for the next two and a half years,” Perenara said in a statement.

“We’re really excited at the journey … really looking forward to seeing everyone back home and thanks to the Hurricanes and New Zealand Rugby for allowing me the opportunity to come home and do what I love.”

Perenara played 140 games for the Wellington-based rugby union side from 2012-2020, before taking up an offer with Japanese rugby side NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes.

“When TJ left for his short stint in Japan we said we’d welcome him home, so we’re delighted that he has signed a contract with us through to 2023,” NZR General Manager Professional Rugby & Performance Chris Lendrum said on Monday.

“He’s been part of New Zealand rugby for more than a decade and I’m sure his Japanese experience has grown him as a person.

“We look forward to seeing him on his return.”

Drew Hutchison joined the ever-expanding Roosters casualty ward in round nine. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images

The news will leave Roosters fans seeing red, with top-quality rakes at a premium in 2021.

The Roosters’ top three options at hooker are all unavailable for selection in round ten — repeated concussions brought the curtain down on Friend’s career in April while youngsters Freddy Lussick and Sam Verrills are currently battling to overcome injuries of their own.

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