NRL 2021: All Blacks halfback TJ Perenara insists genuine interest in league switch to Sydney Roosters

All Blacks halfback TJ Perenara has revealed his current flirtation with rugby league has been a constant temptation throughout his 15-a-side career.

Speaking publicly for the first time since rumours broke, Perenara has told Stuff that his discussions with Sydney Roosters represent legitimate interest in a code switch near the back end of his career.

"It's definitely genuine from both parties," he tells Stuff. "It's something that would be a challenge, but it's something that I've thought about throughout the course of my career.

"I played league when I was a bit younger. In contract years, I've often thought about it.

"I feel the game for a hooker suits the style of game I like to play, even knowing that there will be more tackles in league."

But Perenara confirms that league is just one option still on the table and no decision has been made past his current contract with Japanese Top League club NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes.

"I wanted to make a conscious decision to focuse ont he games at hand."

Red Hurricanes face Kieran Read's Toyota Verblitz in a Top League quarter-final next week. 

Roosters coach Trent Robinson has confirmed his club's interest in the 66-test NZ rugby international, after losing the services of veteran hooker Jake Friend to concussion this month.

"I understand that there will be some physical conditioning things I will have to adapt to be successful in league," says Perenara. "I think it will take some time getting used to, but I think it would be the biggest challenge."

Perenara is currently off contract with NZ Rugby, but confirmed he could sign with the Roosters this year, then switch back to rugby union and the All Blacks for the 2023 World Cup, which would be his third.