Mark Nawaqanitawase [Source: Roar]
Wallabies winger, Mark Nawaqanitawase has signed a two-year deal with National Rugby League club the Sydney Roosters from 2025.
Nawaqanitawase, who has Fijian links, becomes the first Australian player in two decades to defect to rugby league, when his rugby contract ends next year.
The 23-year-old’s agent Andrew Fairbairn confirmed the Roosters deal after an emotional decision and that he wasn’t closing the door on a return to rugby ahead of the 2027 Rugby World Cup in Australia.
Rugby Australia Chief Executive Phil Waugh says the game is sad to lose Nawaqanitawase but is confident they have the depth to cover his departure.
Nawaqanitawase’s father, Sevuloni moved from Fiji to Sydney to play rugby league for Balmain.
The younger Nawaqanitawase is not new to the code having played junior rugby league with Wests Tigers five-eighth Adam Doueihi (pronounced doo-wee).
Meanwhile, Nawaqanitawase’s move to the Roosters will effectively be a swap with rugby-bound Joseph Suaalii, who was poached by Rugby Australia earlier this year.