Daniel Richardson

Daniel Richardson is a Wellington-based sports journalist for NZME. News Service.

Rugby: Perenara staying positive

T.J Perenara suffered a campaign-ending injury in the Hurricanes' practice match against the Reds on the Sunshine Coast on June 15. Photo / Getty Images.
T.J Perenara suffered a campaign-ending injury in the Hurricanes' practice match against the Reds on the Sunshine Coast on June 15. Photo / Getty Images.

Considering TJ Perenara has a broken left ankle and won't be seen on a rugby field for the next four months he cut a remarkably positive figure at Hurricanes training today.

The 20-year-old halfback suffered the campaign-ending injury in the Hurricanes' practice match against the Reds on the Sunshine Coast on June 15 during Super Rugby's international break and then picked up bloodclots in his leg following surgery, which delayed his return from Australia.

But, aside from being one of the breakout players in this year's Super Rugby competition, Perenara must also be one of the most optimistic.

"I've always been taught to see the brighter things in life," he said.

"You're never ever going to have things happen perfectly for you and there's always going to be a downside of anything you do; that's what I believe. There's always going to be hard times no matter what happens and I've always been taught to take the best of it. If you take the worst of things you are just going to make yourself feel bad and everything's just going to seem so much worse than what it is."

Perenara said he would take time during his enforced break to look at what he can do with himself outside of rugby and had already spoken to Hurricanes professional development manager Steve Symonds about working in radio.

"It's character building and like I said before it gives me an opportunity to focus on other things in my life. Rugby's only going to be here a certain amount of time so the more I can build up things outside footy it can only be better for later on."

The Titahi Bay lad also admitted there were some lonely nights in his hospital bed across the Tasman but was thankful that his partner travelled over to keep him company.

He felt better being back in Wellington.

"Being home does it to you. Over in Aussie it was nice being around my family in Australia but being home brings good spirits and being around the boys, they're all upbeat and playing footy this week; it puts a smile on your face."

The injury occurred late in the game after Perenara found himself on the wing due to the limited outside backs stocks the Hurricanes had for the encounter.

When Perenara was tackled he landed the wrong way and immediately knew something was wrong.

"I knew it was broken straight away. I sort of heard it, felt it and I was just hoping that my foot wasn't sideways, actually. But it wasn't so it was all good."

Perenara said he hoped to be back running in eight to 10 weeks and while the Wellington Lions play their last ITM Cup regular season game on October 14 - which would be almost exactly four months to the day since the injury struck - he couldn't confirm whether he would be fit to play again this year.

In Perenara's absence, Hawkes Bay's Chris Eaton will wear the No 9 jersey for the Hurricanes when they take on the Crusaders in a must-win game for the franchise in Christchurch on Saturday night.

- APNZ

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