Home Australia ‘Any form of footy, I love it’: Roosters’ NRLW side signs American rugby sevens star

‘Any form of footy, I love it’: Roosters’ NRLW side signs American rugby sevens star

0 comment
'Any form of footy, I love it': Roosters' NRLW side signs American rugby sevens star

American rugby league’s push has paid its first dividend, with American rugby sevens talent Liz Tafuna signing a contract with the Sydney Roosters NRLW team.

The New Zealand-born, California-based 21-year-old will join the Roosters before pre-season begins in June, after starring at the NRL talent combine in Las Vegas ahead of the season-opening double-header .

Tafuna, who has played rugby for the United States along with rugby sevens, is on track to become the first American to play in the NRLW.

NRLW Tricolors coach John Strange said Tafuna’s speed, footwork, ball skills and toughness stood out.

“Most importantly, Liz has shown a huge desire to test herself in the NRLW and I have no doubt that with hard work she can make a huge impact in this year’s NRLW competition,” he said.

“I look forward to her contributing, along with our entire team, to what we are building here at the Roosters.”

Combined winners Megan Pakulis and MarCaya Bailous could follow Tafuna in the competition, each of whom toured Australia late last month and played in the National Championships while also visiting NRLW clubs.

Tafuna said the lack of money in American rugby made the jump to the NRLW a realistic option and more compatriots could follow suit.

“I knew a little bit just from reading (the NRLW) that it’s something that’s there, but then when they actually explained it, I couldn’t even imagine that for the game of women’s rugby, they could get so much security in terms of life.” she told AAP at the combine last month.

“When (the team) arrived, I was 100 percent… I’m not committed to the union, I’m committed to football.

“Any form of football, I love it and I love trying it.”

Tafuna recalled his initial impressions of rugby league, saying it combined the space of rugby sevens with the contact of the 15.

“I may have only seen the league and I know there are more pros and cons… but, if they leave me on the wing, I will try,” he said.

“I know how to run hard and I know how to tackle… I thought, ‘At the end of the day, that’s it.’

“After finding my footing in the first 20 minutes, I thought, ‘Okay, give me the ball, I’m going to try.'”

It’s a boost for the Roosters, who missed the NRLW decider last season after crashing out 12-0 against Gold Coast in the semi-finals.

Sports content to make you think… or allow you not to. A newsletter delivered every Friday.


You may also like