Josh Hodgson questions block on Jordan Rapana’s return to Canberra Raiders after rugby stint


Hodgson was reluctant to hit out at the NRL but his initial reaction was that he saw no problem with bringing Rapana back in May.

“If he goes and plays rugby union, comes back and it’s not affecting our cap and not affecting our squad members, I don’t see what the real issue is, really,” he said.

“I don’t really see the problem with that. I’m sure [the NRL] have their reasons. I’m sure they don’t just stick a rule in there for nothing.”

Hodgson went on to suggest it would be more challenging for players to consider returning if they were forced to sit out an entire season.

The Great Britain hooker said the game would lose by blocking Rapana.


“You’re probably losing players because once you have 12-14 months out of the game, then it is hard to get back into the NRL,” Hodgson said.

“Especially for someone who’s a bit of a kids’ favourite in the game like Rapa.

“If you’ve got the chance to getting back in the NRL and get his face back in a Canberra shirt and all the kids watching him play again … I think you lose something from the game by ruling him out for another 12 months.

“I’ll probably ring [Raiders coach Ricky Stuart] and have a chat with him about it and see what the reasoning is behind it.”

The NRL directive comes despite the likes of Jarryd Hayne and Benji Marshall switching codes midway through their contracts and also returning mid-season.

Valentine Holmes is another who is being heavily tipped to join North Queensland after his current sojourn with the New York Jets in the NFL.

The NRL argues that, in the case of Hayne and Marshall, they were failed career moves.


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