TJ Perenara told teammates he was off to Japan via WhatsApp so rumours about his future wouldn't swirl

Source: 1News

TJ Perenara has shared a few more details around his short-term deal in Japan early next year, saying ultimately - despite his love for the Hurricanes and questions around Covid-19 - timing and a chance for something new made it too good to turn down.

Perenara spoke to media today after confirming his rumoured Japanese deal yesterday, saying the NTT DoCoMo Red Hurricanes approached him not too long ago.

"It came up pretty quickly, actually," Perenara said.

"A few weeks ago we got an offer from the Red Hurricanes, and as soon as we got the offer I started talking to the Hurricanes and New Zealand Rugby just so everyone was in the loop.

"I wanted to be transparent about the whole thing."

That transparency extended to his teammates in Wellington as well.

"I told all of our boys via a WhatsApp chat that we have [an offer] and everyone was very supportive.

"I didn't want people to find out through the media. I didn't want noise to be spoken around rugby circles and players who I've played with a long time with to not find out from me."

The 66-Test halfback said two factors really helped him decide to take up the deal - timing in his career and the desire to experience something new.

"As discussions went on, the opportunity to go over there with my family into a new challenge and a new culture sat well with us," Perenara said.

"It's not something I had thought about to go right now... Japan is a place I've always wanted to play in and it's a place that I've always enjoyed being when I've played there.

"We didn't know when that would be so when we did get the offer, we did have to seriously think about it."

Perenara said he and his family, which includes his wife and newborn daughter, will fly direct from Australia to Japan after his All Blacks commitments wrap up in December.

The 28-year-old added he wasn't certain if the deal will hinder his chances of donning the All Blacks jersey next year.

"I'm contracted until May over there and in discussions now with hopefully coming back home to play in New Zealand and be available for internationals and then back with the Hurricanes."