Waratahs sign 'exciting' and 'damaging' player
NEWS: The Waratahs have bolstered their backline stocks with the signing of former Brisbane NRL star Izaia Perese for the 2021 Super Rugby season.
The damaging outside back has joined Rob Penney’s squad for the next two seasons.
Perese, formerly contracted with Bayonne in the Top 14 in France, earnt 17 caps for the Reds in 2016 and 2017 before making the switch to the Broncos.
An Australian schoolboy and Under-20s representative, Perese returns to Australia after a COVID-effected stint in France.
New year, new addition
Welcome to the Tahs Izaia Perese
— NSW Waratahs (@NSWWaratahs) January 8, 2021
NSWRU general manager of rugby, Tim Rapp, said Perese was a welcome addition to the squad’s backline stocks, especially after the departure of several experiences heads including Karmichael Hunt and Kurtley Beale.
“We’ve seen what Izaia is capable of in his previous stint in Super Rugby,” Rapp said.
“He’s an exciting, damaging player who gives another point-of-difference within our backline.
“It was a short stint for Izaia in France and when we became aware he wanted to be back in Australia it was quickly evident this was a great fit for both parties.
“We certainly need to acknowledge some of the recent issues Izaia had during his time with the Broncos, and it’s something that we’ve spoken about with him at length.
“He understands the expectations we have of everyone within our organisation and we’re looking forward to supporting his transition into the Waratahs environment.”
Coach Penney said he was looking forward to working with Perese.
“Izaia comes extremely well-regarded and having seen his previous work in Super Rugby, we’re excited to have him on board for the next two seasons,” Penney said.
“He’s worked with Gilly [Jason Gilmore] back in Queensland, so I’ve been able to get great background on his athletic ability and how he can contribute to our backline.
“Izaia’s addition gives us good depth across the midfield and back three given his versatility.
“With plenty of competition for places, we’re looking forward to welcoming him into the group when everyone returns fresh from the Christmas break.”
Perese said it was a relief to be returning to Australia and he was excited to be joining the Waratahs.
“It’s been extremely tough being overseas throughout COVID and while I enjoyed my time in Bayonne, I’m really happy to be coming home,” he said.
“The Waratahs are a club I’m now proud to be a part of and having spoken to people in and around the club, there’s a lot to be excited about leading into 2021.
“I’m just looking forward to getting out on the training pitch and letting my footy do the talking.
“It’s been a challenging 12 months, but I know that being at the Waratahs is the best place for me both professionally and personally.”