Canberra Raiders winger Jordan Rapana has indicated his desire to remain at the club past the 2019 season.
Off-contract at the end of the year, preliminary discussions between the Raiders and Rapana’s management have begun to take place.
Rapana told The Sydney Morning Herald of his desire to stay in Canberra.
“I haven’t spoken to my manager too much,” he explained.
“Obviously I want to stay here – I just got engaged, the missus is from here and this has become my home-away-from-home so I absolutely love it down here – so ideally this is where I want to be.
“I’ve briefly spoken to [Raiders coach Ricky Stuart] and he still wants me here too to be a part of this club. I hope my manager’s on top of it and getting it sorted. I definitely want to be here still.”
The NRL has given Canberra the green light to take advantage of salary cap relief to cover the star winger, who won’t be available for the Raiders until at least Round 13 of the 2019 season.
The New Zealand international required reconstructive surgery following a dislocated shoulder while playing for his country last year.
The NRL introduced the representative injury rule earlier in 2018, allowing clubs to sign another player worth up to $350,000 to replace someone who misses 12 or more NRL games due to an injury suffered during a representative fixture.
However, Rapana believes the club can cover his absence without taking advantage of the new rule, backing Michael Oldfield to take his spot on the wing.
“Oldie’s a quality first-grade player who has done a great job there in the past,” Rapana said.
“Probably ideally I’d say Oldie, but there’s some young talent coming through that can cover there too. I’m actually happy with the depth that we have there in that position.”
The Green Machine will begin it’s 2019 campaign away to the Gold Coast to take on the Titans on Sunday March 17.