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Wallabies wing Mark Nawaqanitawase ‘leaning’ towards code switch – report

By Finn Morton
Mark Nawaqanitawase of Australia celebrates victory at full-time following the Rugby World Cup France 2023 match between Australia and Portugal at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard on October 01, 2023 in Saint-Etienne, France. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Wallabies wing Mark Nawaqanitawase is on the brink of signing a stunning two-year deal with NRL juggernauts the Sydney Roosters according to a report out of Australia.

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Rugby Australia already have their backs up against the ropes following the Wallabies’ disasterclass at this year’s World Cup, but this news comes as another damaging blow before the end of the year.

The Roar’s Christy Doran has revealed that Nawaqanitawase “is leaning towards jumping codes” after meeting with Roosters coach Trent Robinson and chairman Nick Politis last month.

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Nawaqanitawase only debuted in Wallaby gold during last year’s end-of-season tour, but the 11-Test wing quickly rose to superstar status during an otherwise terrible 2023 for the national team.

The 23-year-old appeared destined to play a starring role in the Wallabies’ quest to overcome the threat of the British and Irish Lions in 2025, but that might go down as a telling ‘what if’ in Australian rugby moving forward.

With Nawaqanitawase set to come off contract with the NSW Waratahs and Rugby Australia at the end of 2024, the opportunity to explore other opportunities was always going to be a possibility.

After penning a one-year contract extension earlier this year, the Wallaby told The Sydney Morning Herald that there are “other things out there that might interest me.”

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“I would have liked more,” Nawaqanitawase said. “I’d love to stay here as long as I can.

“With certain circumstances, we had to agree on something. The one-year (contract extension) was the best thing at the time.

“Hopefully (I can) win a Super Rugby title with the Tahs and hopefully win a World Cup.

“In a perfect world, I’d like to stay (in rugby) but there’s always a but. There’s obviously other things out there that might interest me.”

The Roar understands that Nawaqanitawase will make a decision “within the next 24 hours” with the Roosters reportedly offering a deal of around $600,000 to switch codes.

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