TJ Perenara issues reply to Foster over rumoured NRL switch
The 29-year-old Perenara was this week named in the All Blacks squad for the upcoming Rugby Championship, having spent the first half of the year on sabbatical in Japan with Top League club NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes.
However, despite being named in Ian Foster’s squad, the All Blacks head coach this week expressed his skepticism of the motives behind Perenara’s actions.
Foster stated that he felt as though Perenara had used interest from potential NRL clubs as simply a negotiation tactic with New Zealand Rugby.
Certainly when news broke of the potential move, there seemed to be plenty of intrigue and interest from fans, pundits and players of both codes, particularly given Perenara’s achievements in union – a Super Ruby champion, World Cup winner and one of Super Rugby’s all time top try scorers.
Yet having eventually recommitted to NZR in May, Perenara found himself back among the All Blacks ranks after missing out on the Steinlager series against Tonga and Fiji.
Foster aired his thoughts earlier in the week stating that he “didn’t really know whether Perenara was serious with the NRL or not” and that he “wasn’t personally over-impressed that [it had] played out publicly.”
“That’s all part of the negotiation ploy, I guess,” Foster said.
Perenara however has rejected Foster’s claims of ‘leverage’ explaining that time and considerable thought had gone into his eventual decision.
“We were genuine in all discussions, it wasn’t a ploy,” Perenara insisted. “The decision to come back to New Zealand was a really tough decision because of how close we were to going to the NRL and back to Japan.”
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) July 19, 2021
Perenara will now have his mind firmly set on quickly integrating back into the All Blacks environment ahead of the first Bledisloe Cup clash with Australia on 7th August.
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