Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has confirmed a Japanese sabbatical has been mentioned for Taniela Tupou as the in-demand prop weighs up his rugby future.
The Queensland Reds star, carrying a calf harm that may hold him out of motion till July’s house Checks in opposition to England, has a four-year Rugby Australia contract that expires on the finish of subsequent yr.
International golf equipment are queuing for the providers of the 25-year-old, who has silky fingers to go together with quick ft that belie his wrecking-ball body.
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However Rugby Australia need that, as properly as his off-field allure and business pulling energy, as the face of their very own model forward of a 2027 World Cup in Australia the place a 30-year-old Tupou might star.
Tupou and RA are open to a one-year sabbatical, much like that taken by Wallabies captain Michael Hooper at Japanese High League membership Toyota Verblitz final yr.
That may see Tupou acquire his full market worth whereas remaining eligible for Check choice after which returning to an Australian franchise forward of the 2027 showpiece, fairly then being misplaced altogether to a wealthy, long-term European deal.
“That’s one way of competing with overseas dollars,” Rennie instructed AAP.
“We’re looking at all options that’s going to make it attractive and affordable.”
“We’re pretty positive about being able to keep Nella; he wants to stay, we’re in discussions with his agent and it’s been very positive.
“He is received a real level of distinction (on and off the sector), would not he, and he loves it, enjoys the interplay with followers.
“He’s important to the future of the game here.”
Tupou mentioned solely a “miracle” would see him return from harm in time for the Reds’ Tremendous Rugby Pacific finals marketing campaign and was once more coy when requested what the longer term held past subsequent season.
“Who knows what I’ll do after next year; whether it’s Queensland or … Rockhampton,” he mentioned earlier than bursting into laughter.
“I have to make the decision in the next few months, whether I’ll stay here in the long run in Australia or go somewhere.
“I have been chatting with Rugby Australia, they’re eager to have me round for the subsequent few years.
“I’d love to go (to Japan) … I’d like a break from Super Rugby so if that means Japan, rest the body and come back (that’d be good), but it’s up to my manager.”
As for the 2027 World Cup?
“I feel like I’m 30 now, but yeah I’ll be 30 around then, hopefully still playing good footy and Dave picks me,” he mentioned.
“I’d love to play a World Cup game at Suncorp … I know the feeling of playing in front of a full house there, you can’t explain it, it’s awesome.”