Japanese rugby, NRL and NFL interested in Wallaby Jordan Petaia

Japanese rugby, NRL and NFL interested in Wallaby Jordan Petaia


More than one month on from Mark Nawaqanitawase’s shock decision to leave Australian rugby from 2025, another Wallaby could be on the way out as Jordan Petaia reportedly weighs up offers from three sports.

Petaia, 23, is set to come off contract with Australian rugby at the end of 2024. Others are well aware of this, too, with representatives from a few codes reaching out to the Wallaby.

According to The Daily Telegraph in Australia, Petaia has been approached by the NFL International Player Pathway Program, a Queensland NRL side, and Japanese rugby clubs.

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It’s a troubling development for Australian rugby in the wake of Nawaqanitawase’s decision to sign a two-year deal with the Sydney Roosters. Nawaqanitawase was one of the Wallabies’ best during Eddie Jones’ reign, but Petaia has long been touted as a superstar of tomorrow.

With the British and Irish Lions set to tour Australia in 2025, this report would have to concern the Wallabies – but for now, Petaia is focused on Super Rugby Pacific with the Reds.

“I don’t know about other players but there’s not too much pressure around that stuff,” Petaia said, as reported by The Daily Telegraph.

“It doesn’t change anything with my mindset. I’m focused on the Reds this year and for however long that is, but I’m just focused on this environment and doing what’s best for the team.

“I’ve had a few questions about (the NRL) but it’s still so early in the year. I still have this whole year to figure out what I’m going to do.

“I’m just enjoying my time at the Reds and trying to build a winning culture here, and see what options I’ve got at the end of the year with my manager.

“He takes care of most that stuff and is fairly switched on there. I’ve just got to play footy and keep healthy.”

Nawaqanitawase, 23, met with Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson and chairman Nick Politis after returning to Australia after the Wallabies’ disastrous World Cup campaign in France.

The 11-Test Wallaby ended up signing a multi-year with the Tricolours, which will see Nawaqanitawase practically swap places with rugby recruit Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii.

Nawaqanitawase told Nine News this week that he “had to do what was right for me” by securing the headline-grabbing move across codes.

Petaia spoke with the departing Wallaby on the day of the announcement – the pair are good friends, and even visited Switzerland together after the World Cup – and was clearly happy for his international teammate.

“I was stoked for Marky,” Petaia added. “I spoke to him the day of the (Roosters) announcement as well. He was happy about it all.

“I’m sure he’ll do great things in that code. He’s still got another year (of Super Rugby) to go, so we’re still going to battle it out this year and have a laugh. It was good to get away with him after the tournament as well.

“At the end of the day whatever he tries to do, as a mate, we’re happy to see.”

While the memories of last year’s World Cup campaign are still fresh in the minds of supporters all across Australia, fans were almost unanimously thrilled with Rugby Australia’s latest announcement.

Former World Rugby Coach of the Year Joe Schmidt was revealed to be the Wallabies’ third head coach in as many years at a press conference at Sydney’s Allianz Stadium on Friday.

Schmidt has penned a deal through until at least the end of the British and Irish Lions series next year, but beyond then, only time will tell as to whether the coach stays on.

“I don’t know a lot about Joe Schmidt. Obviously he’s coached a lot in the northern hemisphere, but I’m glad someone has filled that role and it’s exciting for Australian rugby.

“I’ve never said I was going to leave rugby, but the winning is always good.

“A part of last year was just moving on from that campaign and we’re starting a new lead. We always want to build a winning culture, that doesn’t really shape what I’m going to do, but you always want to be part of a winning culture.”





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