Rugby: All Black TJ Perenara considered dual rugby-league contracts before re-signing with NZR

All Blacks halfback TJ Perenara considered switching back and forth between rugby league and union, before re-signing with New Zealand Rugby.

Perenara, 29, has put pen to paper on a new deal with the 15-man code, committing to both the All Blacks and the Hurricanes for the foreseeable future.

But his decision has also seen him spurn the chance to switch codes to join NRL powerhouse Sydney Roosters.

Perenara has told the What A Lad podcast he had a third offer from an unnamed Japanese side that could have seen him switch between codes from season to season.

"We were at a stage at one point where we might have even been leaning more towards going to league and coming back to Japan as a dual sort of deal than we were [to] coming home," he says.

"I would have finished here [Japan], gone and done my isolation in Sydney, and joined the team for the back end of the year.

"We fell into a couple of complications with insurance... [but] that wasn't the deciding factor.

"I spoke with people in the Roosters environment. If we'd decided to do it, we would have found a way to make the insurance side of it work too." 

Perenara has been in regular contact with Roosters coach Trent Robinson and made sure to personally inform him that he'd opted to remain in New Zealand, rather than switch to the NRL.

"I spoke with Trent yesterday about it. He was in full support of either decision I made.

“He understood the reasons for coming, if I came, and the reasons if I didn't. It's been really good to work with him on that level.”

Perenara is content with his decision, although his chances of ever playing in the NRL are probably gone.

"I'd never say never, but I felt this was a really good opportunity for it. 

"I feel like I'm playing really good footy. The game at the moment in league suits the way I play, for a hooker. 

"I felt like it gave me enough time to do it and do it well. Especially coming in this season, halfway through, would be like a real learning phase, but being able to play there as well would have been a real good introduction to it.

"If I go well, the potential of staying on longer term, doing Japan and coming back to the NRL again... there were a lot of discussions about it.

"Trent saw me as a hooker, I saw myself as a hooker who could probably cover in the halves if I needed to, if something happened.

"I'm content with the decision in what [wife] Greer and I have decided to do, but there will always be that part where you think 'man, that would have been a cool experience’."

Perenara also believes he's ineligible for the All Blacks' July series with Fiji, after not playing in New Zealand so far this season.

"I think the rules are you have to play in the New Zealand competition, professional competition, to be eligible - unless you have it written into your contract.

"I didn't have a contract to come back to, so I didn't write that into anything.

"I have to play in a competition before being eligible for the All Blacks. If I do come in as injury cover, I guess it might [change], but if not, I don't think so.

Refreshed after a season in Japan, Perenara says his love of the 15-man code has been revitalised and he wants to bring that renewed desire back into the All Blacks camp.

"It's always been my goal and now being back in New Zealand rugby, it continues to be my goal.

"I love competing at the highest level and with some of the best players in the world. We've got some really good nines in New Zealand and I'm really looking forward to that competition, and to continue to try and be better.

"Starting for the All Blacks is my massive goal. It's my dream and it's what i want to do, but I'm also really excited about that process too."