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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Rapana signs deal to return to the Raiders

Fan favourite Jordan Rapana has signed a short-term deal for the rest of this season to return to the Canberra Raiders after his stint with Japanese rugby union side, Panasonic Wild Knights, was brought to an abrupt end due to COVID-19.

The deal comes after weeks of speculation that Rapana would return to the NRL, with the Wests Tigers believed to be his other suitor.

A few weeks ago, Rapana made is intentions clear that he wanted to come back to the NRL after telling Fox Sports that “I miss league; I only left the game for three months and miss every bit of it”.

“I definitely prefer league over union, let’s just say that.”

In the end, Rapana decided to return to his beloved Raiders and be closer to his family in Canberra, the Raiders seem just as happy to have him rejoin the squad.

Co-captain Jarod Croker was rapt to have his “good mate” back around the club.

“He’s one of those blokes that every team would like to have,” Croker told 2GB radio.

“He’s a character, he’s a bit of a dag Rapa, but he plays his footy so well and he’s been such a big part of this club for so long.

“We’re building that little bit of depth that we were probably a little bit skinny on if anything this year after losing Rapa and BJ (Joey Leilua), so getting him back adds to that depth again.”

Canberra’s new-look outside back combinations looked dangerous in the first two matches this season, with Croker and Bailey Simonsson on the left and Nik Cotric and new recruit Curtis Scott on the right. Just how Ricky Stuart utilises the addition of Rapana will be interesting viewing for all Raiders fans.

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