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Roosters out of race for Perenara with All Black staying in rugby

All Blacks star TJ Perenara has opted not to pursue a code switch with the Roosters to remain in New Zealand rugby.

Perenara and the Tricolours have been in dialogue for some time around joining the club on a cut-price deal for the rest of 2021, however it's understood he informed the Roosters recently of his plans to stay in the 15-man code.

The uncertain COVID-19 situation and a desire to stay with his family in New Zealand has played a large part in Perenara's decision.

The 69-Test All Blacks scrumhalf announced his re-signing with Wellington Hurricanes and the NZRU until the end of 2023 on Monday evening. 

Perenara had been sized up as a potential No.9 at the injury-stricken Roosters, who have lost captain Jake Friend (retirement), Sam Verrills (eye) and Freddy Lussick (broken arm) as dummy-half options this season.

Episode 11 - Todd Payten

Connections to the club and NRL through cousins Henry Perenara and Sonny Bill Williams, as well as ex-Wallabies coach turned Roosters advisor Michael Cheika, had talks progressing well over the past month while Perenara finished up his commitments in Japanese rugby.

Perenara acknowledged the Roosters and coach Trent Robinson in announcing his next career move.

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A post shared by Tj Perenara (@tj_perenara)

"I want to make a shout-out to Trent and the Roosters, I know there's been a lot of work going on behind the scenes over the last two months," Perenara said in an Instagram post.

"I really appreciate the support with my decision ... Thank you to the Hurricanes and New Zealand Rugby for allowing me to come home and do what I love."

The Roosters hope to welcome Lachlan Lam back as a scrumbase/utility option against the Cowboys this weekend after losing Drew Hutchison to a punctured lung and fractured ribs.

Sitili Tupouniua will also return from suspension while star lock Victor Radley must pass concussion protocols to take his place in Robinson's side, with Adam Keighran the other five-eighth option as Ben Marschke takes the No.9 jersey.

Teen tyro Sam Walker is also battling an ankle issue he managed to play out last week's loss to Parramatta with, adding yet more confusion to the Roosters' halves woes.


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