If the Sydney Roosters are able to lure All Blacks halfback TJ Perenara away from rugby union and to the NRL, they may end up paying a surprisingly low amount for his services.
Reports emerged on Friday saying Perenara is in talks with the Roosters and other NRL clubs to determine his next sporting home once his contract with New Zealand Rugby expires at the end of 2021.
The former Hurricanes co-captain and 69-test veteran is currently plying his trade in the Japanese Top League with the Red Hurricanes, choosing to take up the short-term contract overseas late last year. Now, it seems, the Roosters want to also secure Perenara's services on a short-term basis during what has become an injury-blighted season for the club.
The Roosters have lost star playmaker Luke Keary and former captain Jake Friend for the remainder of the NRL season and the Sydney Morning Herald reports that Perenara could help plug those holes as early as June for the bargain price of around $NZ140,000.
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Perenara's current Japanese Top League contract ends on May 23 and he would be required to quarantine for two weeks upon arrival in Australia. So the earliest he could take the field for the Roosters would be June 12 during Round 14, with 11 matches remaining in the regular season.
Compounding that process for Perenara is his glaring lack of experience playing rugby league. When Roosters coach Trent Robinson signed Sonny Bill Williams to a similar role in 2020, his introduction to the team was a slow one. Therefore it makes sense that Perenara's could be even slower.
While Robinson has confirmed the discussions between the two parties, he says they are very much in an initial phase.
"Let's slow down a little bit there and let's not get ahead of ourselves," Robinson told media on Friday.
"Let's be happy with the report of discussions but let's not get too far ahead with how is he going to play in the first game and all of that. We will take it step by step."
Sonny Bill Williams reportedly pocketed NZ$161,000 from the Roosters for his stint with the club in 2020 which began with just four matches remaining in the regular season.