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TJ Perenara turns back on shock NRL code switch

By Sam Smith
TJ Perenara celebrates with Beauden Barrett. (Photo by Renee McKay/Getty Images)

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All Blacks and Hurricanes halfback TJ Perenara will not be making a shock switch to the NRL – instead inking a new deal with New Zealand Rugby (NZR) and his former Super Rugby team through to 2023.


Perenara’s supposedly interest in the NRL had seen him heavily linked with the Roosters, but the familiarity of his old team and the comforts of home have won the battle for his heart.

The scrum half has finished up his time with the NTT DoCoMo Red Hurricanes in Japan’s Top League following their quarterfinal loss on the weekend and will return to New Zealand.

The 29-year-old announced his re-signing on social media tonight, saying: “My wife and I have decided to come back to the Hurricanes and New Zealand Rugby for the next two and a half years. 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.”

Chris Lendrum, NZR’s General Manager Professional Rugby & Performance, said: “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. 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.”

Hurricanes CEO Avan Lee added: “We’re delighted TJ is coming home. TJ is 100 percent committed to the ‘Canes and what we want to achieve, so this is a really good day for our team, the organisation, our fans and our key stakeholders.”

29-year-old TJ Perenara has played 69 Tests for the All Blacks since making his debut in 2014, scoring 14 tries. He is the most capped Hurricane of all time and has played 140 games for the Wellington-based team since making his Super Rugby debut in 2012. He won a Rugby World Cup with the All Blacks in 2015 and a Super Rugby title with the ‘Canes in 2016.


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