Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson has confirmed his interest in All Blacks halfback TJ Perenara to help solve the club's mounting injury crisis in the hooker position.
Speaking after his side's 20-4 defeat to the Melbourne Storm on Friday night, Robinson admitted his side are keen on the 69-test All Black, after reports on Thursday revealed they were in discussions.
"Yeah we've talked but it's preliminary at this stage," Robinson said. "They obviously got it out there pretty quickly but we've had talks and we'll see where it gets to."
Pressed on whether he thought the Hurricanes halfback could make an immediate impact in the NRL, the three-time NRL winning coach played it down.
"Let's slow down a little bit there," Robinson added. "Let's not get ahead of ourselves.
"Let's be happy with the report of discussions but let's not get too far ahead of 'how is he going to play in the first game' and all of that. We will take it step by step."
Reports came out on Friday night that former Wallabies coach Michael Cheika, who now works with the Sydney Roosters, had been part of discussions - but Robinson denied those claims.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported Perenara could help plug the injury crisis the Roosters are facing as early as June for the bargain price of around NZ$140,000.
Perenara's current Japanese Top League contract ends on May 23 and he would be required to quarantine for two weeks upon arrival in Australia. So the earliest he could take the field for the Roosters would be June 12 during round 14, with 11 matches remaining in the regular season.
With Perenara having zero experience in rugby league, Robinson would have to get him up to speed before he could make his debut.
The 69-test halfback is no stranger to rugby league. Father Thomas represented New Zealand at youth level, while cousin Henry Perenara is a current NRL referee and former Kiwis international.
Perenara was also offered a contract by Melbourne Storm at age 15, but chose not to sign, TVNZ reported.
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