Perenara opens up on Roosters interest

All Blacks World Cup winner TJ Perenara says he's genuinely interested about a switch to the NRL after direct talks with Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson.

Sydney Roosters coach TRENT ROBINSON.
Sydney Roosters coach TRENT ROBINSON. Picture: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

TJ Perenara says he's deadly serious about considering a spectacular cross-code move to the Sydney Roosters, revealing he's harboured a dream to play in the NRL for years.

The All Blacks World Cup winner says he's won't make a decision until his Japanese Top League commitments with the Red Hurricanes are finished next month.

But the 29-year-old on Tuesday night said "there's a few different scenarios on the table" after speaking directly with Roosters coach Trent Robinson.

The most likely scenario is taking up a mid-season short-term deal with the Roosters before returning the Hurricanes in New Zealand Super Rugby next year.

"I would be doing the club and the boys that I've worked hard with an injustice by focusing on anything else besides our games coming up," Perenara said from Osaka.

There's a notion that Perenara could be angling for a better deal from New Zealand rugby but the 66-Test halfback said he honestly believed he could be a success at hooker for the Roosters as a replacement for recently retired co-captain Jake Friend.

"It's definitely genuine from both parties as well," Perenara said.

"It's something that would be a challenge and something that I've thought about throughout the course of my career.

"I've played league when I was a little bit younger so in contract years I've often thought about it but never engaged in conversations to the extent we're at now.

"I feel the game for a hooker suits the style of game that I like to play already in rugby.

"Knowing, though, that there is more tackles to be made in league and going back and forth 10 metres (in defence) - the fitness - getting up and off the deck is a little but more in rugby league compared than it is in rugby.

"So I understand there will be some physical conditioning side of things that I will have to adapt to, but I do think I can be successful in league as well."

The thought of having to make 40 tackles a game doesn't faze Perenara at all.

"It will take some getting used to. I don't think it's something I could walk into tomorrow and be able to do without noticing the difference," he said.

"I'll have to put a lot of time and effort into doing but it's not something that I think would be the biggest challenge going to the game - the physical side of it.

"Entering a team later in the year and trying to gel with players to win a championship, that will be the biggest time constraint.

"Physically, we can put in all the work we need to do on the training field but it's that relationship building that will be the big one."

Perenara said if he didn't make the switch to league this year with the Roosters, he would likely never cross codes.