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Roger Tuivasa-Sheck has backed TJ Perenara’s possible venture into league, believing the All Blacks halfback would be well suited to the 13-man code.

Perenara is “seriously considering” a switch to the NRL after the Sydney Roosters reached out to his agent, Warren Alcock, 1 News reported on Thursday night. The move would reportedly come at the conclusion of the Japanese Top League rugby competition next month.

Speaking to media on Friday, Tuivasa-Sheck said he could see the switch being a success for Perenara.

“It’s definitely different but he’s a tough player; he’s built tough,” Tuivasa-Sheck said.

“It’s a different type of game but I think like anything if he learns the technique and how to wrestle more there, he’ll be good technically and I think he is a fit enough player to be in the game for long, but it definitely will be different for him.

“He’s a classy player and he’ll learn and do whatever it needs to work for him.”

While neither Perenara nor the Roosters have commented on the speculation, it is believed the club are looking to bring him to play at hooker – an area where the team have experienced plenty of injury woes in recent years.

To start this season, Sam Verrills and Victor Radley were both unavailable due to their continued recovery from ACL injuries suffered during the 2020 NRL campaign. Long-time Roosters hooker Jake Friend was forced into early retirement this season due to a slew of injuries, while young rake Freddy Lussick is sidelined with an arm injury.

The rumours of Perenara’s possible switch come in the wake of former All Blacks wing Sir John Kirwan’s suggestions that New Zealand Rugby should not re-sign Perenara once his short-term deal in Japan is up.

However, speaking to NZME, Hurricanes boss Avan Lee said he had been in discussions with the 69-cap All Blacks halfback on a return to the Wellington side but was not surprised by the suggestion that he could be lost to league.

“He loves rugby league – it’s not really [a] surprise, when you’ve been in and around professional rugby for a while you know it’s a pretty fluid process. There’s always other teams involved – if there’s a rugby league team involved well that’s just another team. I’m not too worried about that, we’ve just got to do our best for TJ. Knowing he loves the team is a significant factor.”

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