Canberra Raiders’ Jordan Rapana rules out rugby return


“I haven’t had the best strike rate in rugby union,” Rapana said. “It probably just opened my eyes up a bit more about how much I really enjoy rugby league and how much league is the sport for me. Ideally, Canberra’s become my home away from home and I’d love to stay here for the rest of my career.”

Rapana is contracted to the Raiders until the end of this season.

“I’m not too sure what the future has but, if I had it my way, I’d definitely like to stay here and stay in league for sure,” he said.

Rapana played a key role in Canberra’s charge to last year’s grand final before departing for rugby.

He admits he is down the pecking order after the club’s unbeaten start in 2020 before the NRL was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Promising winger Bailey Simonsson replaced Rapana on one flank with Kangaroos representative Nick Cotric on the other.

Rapana said he was down on fitness after missing the pre-season and being forced into a two-week quarantine on his return from Japan.

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“There’s no real fitness like NRL pre-season fitness, where you’re actually running and got your hands on the ball,” he said.

“And because I was confined to a house and couldn’t really leave the perimeter of my block, I couldn’t really do much running. But I’m feeling fit, definitely fresh and healthy, and ready to go.”

Meanwhile, Raiders teammate John Bateman is no certain starter for round three as he continues his recovery from shoulder surgery.

“I had an injection last Friday, so it’s coming towards a week now,” the England star said. “Hopefully it settles down and we’ll go from there really, get some full-contact training in.”

AAP

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