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Former Raider Jordan Rapana could be back playing in the NRL in 2021 with two clubs reportedly keen on signing the 30-year-old.
Rapana joined Japanese rugby team Panasonic Wild Knights in 2019 on a one-year contract but was keen to return to the NRL before the June 30 deadline as the rugby season — prior to coronavirus — would have finished in May.
The NRL rejected Rapana from returning this year, but Fox League’s chief NRL reporter James Hooper revealed the Wests Tigers and Raiders are interested in the Kiwi international’s services.
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“The Bulldogs are having a look at Josh Reynolds … he has been at the Tigers for the last couple of years but has had some injury issues and hasn’t been able to get on the field that much,” Hooper said on Triple M.
“If that were to happen, I think the Tigers could possibly have a look at Jordan Rapana. He went to Japanese rugby, but unfortunately wasn’t able to get on the field as a result of the coronavirus that shut down global sport.
“That would mean BJ Leilua and Jordan Rapana – who had such a successful combination at the Green Machine – could potentially reunite at Concord.”
Tigers coach Michael Maguire and Rapana have worked together for the New Zealand side, which could work in the Tigers’ favour but Hooper believes if he does end up back in the NRL it will be with the Raiders.
“The other X-factor in all of that scenario is that I think you will find the Raiders are also having a big look at Jordan Rapana as well,” he said.
“They would really like to get him back there, he would add value.
“Rapana of course played Test football for the Kiwis, and Madge is the Kiwi coach as well as the Tigers coach so they have probably had a couple of conversations there.
“But further to that, the Green Machine will probably make a big play for Jordan and I reckon in all likelihood, he may land there.”
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