Exclusive: Marquee Mark’s Reasons for Joining the Bondi Bunch

Mark Nawaqanitawase has downplayed any conflict between rugby and the National Rugby League (NRL) after signing with the Roosters, leaving open the possibility of returning to the Wallabies before the 2027 World Cup. Nawaqanitawase, a 23-year-old winger, emphasized his love for rugby and expressed gratitude for the opportunities it has provided him. He acknowledged the quality of the Roosters as a club and the influence of its coach Trent Robinson and chairman Nick Politis in his decision to join the team.

He expressed uncertainty about his future in rugby, stating that he would consider a return to the sport in 2027 but emphasized the present opportunity with the Roosters. Rugby Australia has confirmed that Nawaqanitawase may still play for the Wallabies in 2024, despite his NRL move. His chances of starting for the Roosters may improve as he trades places with Joseph Suaalii in 2025.

The back-and-forth between league and rugby officials continues, exemplified by previous attempts to sign Angus Crichton and Max Jorgensen. Nawaqanitawase’s switch to the NRL has led to speculation about a potential similar shift by Eddie Jones, who was recently interviewed for the Japan coaching job after resigning from his position with the Wallabies.