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Another rugby international weighing up NFL move

BY Philip Bendon  ·  Thursday Jan 25, 2024

Wallabies star Jordan Petaia is reportedly weighing up his future with a move to the NRL, Japanese Rugby and the NFL the options.

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The 23-year-old has long been touted as a potential global star and has shown flashes of brilliance for both the Queensland Reds and the Wallabies.

Now set to come off contract at the end of the 2024 season, several suitors have emerged with The Daily Telegraph in Australia reporting that Petaia has been approached by the NFL International Player Pathway Program, a Queensland NRL side, and Japanese rugby clubs.

Following the unveiling of Joe Schmidt as the next Wallabies coach it will be interesting to see if the former Ireland coach will be able to influence Petaia’s decision.

“I don’t know a lot about Joe Schmidt. Obviously, he’s coached a lot in the northern hemisphere, but I’m glad someone has filled that role, and it’s exciting for Australian rugby.

“I’ve never said I was going to leave rugby, but the winning is always good.

“A part of last year was just moving on from that campaign and we’re starting a new lead. We always want to build a winning culture, that doesn’t really shape what I’m going to do, but you always want to be part of a winning culture.” Petaia said.

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For Rugby Australia the news is a worrying development following the departure of another young Wallaby star in Mark Nawaqanitawase who has agreed a move to the NRL from next season.

Speaking about his former teammates move, the Reds star, “I was stoked for Marky,” Petaia added. “I spoke to him the day of the (Roosters) announcement as well. He was happy about it all.

“I’m sure he’ll do great things in that code. He’s still got another year (of Super Rugby) to go, so we’re still going to battle it out this year and have a laugh. It was good to get away with him after the tournament, as well.

“At the end of the day, whatever he tries to do, as a mate, we’re happy to see.”

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Looking ahead to his own future, the utility back was looking no further than his upcoming Super Rugby campaign with the Reds, “I don’t know about other players but there’s not too much pressure around that stuff.

“It doesn’t change anything with my mindset. I’m focused on the Reds this year and for however long that is, but I’m just focused on this environment and doing what’s best for the team.

“I’ve had a few questions about (the NRL), but it’s still so early in the year. I still have this whole year to figure out what I’m going to do.

“I’m just enjoying my time at the Reds and trying to build a winning culture here, and see what options I’ve got at the end of the year with my manager.

“He takes care of most that stuff and is fairly switched on there. I’ve just got to play footy and keep healthy.”

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