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Rapana opens up on World Cup chances

Tuesday 5 April 2022 | Written by Supplied | Published in Regional

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Rapana opens up on World Cup chances
Jordan Rapana has revealed he wants to play for New Zealand at the 2022 Rugby League World Cup. GETTY IMAGES/22040405

Explosive Canberra Raiders winger Jordan Rapana has revealed he wants to play for New Zealand at the 2022 Rugby League World Cup.

Rapana, who had an excellent 2021 NRL season as one of the premier wingers in the competition, played his first game for the Raiders this year during their comeback victory over the Gold Coast Titans in Round 3.

Now with more than 150 NRL games under his belt, the 11-time New Zealand representative wants to add more caps to his record at the World Cup this year.

Rapana is also eligible for the Cook Islands, where he played three Tests between 2013 and 2015 before being selected by the Tier 1 New Zealand outfit.

Talking to AAP, Rapana said he was a “proud Kiwi boy”.
“I’m brought up here but I’m a proud Kiwi boy. I love putting on that jersey,”

Rapana said.

“I’ve represented them in World Cups and many Tests and loved every minute of it. If given the chance again, I’d grab it with both hands and play my heart out.”

The World Cup, which will get underway on October 15 after originally being postponed from 2021, will see New Zealand front up in Group C against Lebanon, Jamaica and Ireland, while the Cook Islands are in Group D after qualifying, alongside Tonga, Papua New Guinea and Wales.

The NRL are understood to be more willing to let players travel for 2022 after both Australia and New Zealand withdrew from the original 2021 tournament ahead of the ultimate postponement.

Rapana said travelling is not a concern for him though.

“I’ve had my vaccinations and travelling is the least of my concern,” Rapana said.

“It’s something you’ve just got to deal with now with Covid. To represent your country, especially in the World Cup, I’ve been able to play in two World Cups, and that’s a pretty great achievement in itself. If I was able to play in a third, it’d be even better.

“But it’s a long season ahead, and a lot can happen. I’ve got to make sure my form at the Raiders is where it needs to be to be selected, and to make sure I’m injury-free when I get to that stage.”