Following the Wallabies’ woeful Rugby World Cup campaign, Australian rugby fans may need to brace themselves for more bad news as star wing Mark Nawaqanitawase considers a code switch.
As reported by The Sydney Morning Herald on Friday afternoon, the 11-Test Wallaby is set to meet with Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson and chairman Nick Politis next week.
Nawaqanitawase, who has quickly become one of the Wallabies’ star players since debuting last year, is set to come off contract with the New South Wales Waratahs and Rugby Australia at the end of 2024.
Mark Nawaqanitawase, in an interview earlier this year with SMH.
“In a perfect world I’d like to stay [in rugby], but there’s always a but. There’s obviously other things out there that might interest me.”
Roosters circling 🐓 https://t.co/Ynd5UDNl8e
— Tom Decent (@tomdecent) November 10, 2023
But losing the star wing to rugby league – which could see the Roosters claim some revenge after rugby poached Joseph Suaalii on a lucrative deal – would be a knockout blow at the end of a tough year.
Nawaqanitawase has been a shining light for the Wallabies during a tough 12 months or so. Since debuting on last year’s end-of-season tour, the 23-year-old has risen to superstar status.
On form, Nawaqanitawase would have to be considered a certainty to don Wallaby gold next year and probably into the future against the British and Irish Lions. But Rugby Australia has to keep him, first.
Earlier this year, Nawaqanitawase told The Sydney Morning Herald that he would’ve liked a longer contract as he suggested there are “other things” he’d like to explore.
“I would have liked more,” Nawaqanitawase said. “I’d love to stay here as long as I can.
“With certain circumstances, we had to agree on something. The one-year (contract extension) was the best thing at the time.
“Hopefully (I can) win a Super Rugby title with the Tahs and hopefully win a World Cup.
“In a perfect world, I’d like to stay (in rugby) but there’s always a but. There’s obviously other things out there that might interest me.”