Jarrod Croker and Jordan Rapana celebrate a try in 2019.
Jarrod Croker and Jordan Rapana celebrate a try in 2019.

Raiders skipper’s sledge at NRL boomerang

With the Canberra Raiders set to re-sign try scoring machine and Kiwi star Jordan Rapana, one of his co-captains has delivered a hilarious sledge.

Rapana, who played in the Raiders' grand final loss to the Sydney Roosters last year, signed a one-year deal with Japanese rugby team the Panasonic Wild Knights but sought a way back to the NRL with the sporting world on pause due to the coronavirus crisis.

Reportedly chased by several teams with the Raiders seen as the most likely to snare his signature for the rest of the season, although it's not quite a done deal as yet.

Although he's set to join the Raiders on Monday for training, it's expected it will take a few more days to be finalised.

Speaking on 2GB's Continuous Call Team, Raiders co-captain Jarrod Croker welcomed Rapana back with open arms, but saved a playful sledge for the returning star.

"He's one of most laid back blokes you'll ever meet," Croker said. "Hopefully he's back.

"I've obviously played a lot of footy with Rapa and been pretty good mates with him for a lot of time so it's good to see him back.

"And after playing zero games in rugby, it was a good little stint by him."

Got to love a sneaky sledge by a teammate.

Jordan Rapana is seemingly close to a return to the Raiders.
Jordan Rapana is seemingly close to a return to the Raiders.

But Croker was glowing in his praise for his former and seemingly future teammate.

"He's one of those blokes that every team would like to have," Croker continued. "He's a character, he's a bit of a dag Rapa but he plays his footy so well and he's been such a big part of this club for so long.

"We're building that little bit of depth that we were probably a little bit skinny on if anything this year after losing Rapa and BJ (Leilua) so getting him back adds to that depth again."

While Canberra CEO Don Furner denied a deal had been done, he confirmed that they would speak with Rapana about playing for the Raiders again this week.

Furner sounded keen to welcome back Rapana, who was squeezed out of the Raiders following their 2019 grand final appearance due to salary cap pressure.

Rapana scored 69 tries in 113 NRL games with Canberra.

"Hopefully next week we can start seeing what he's up to, seeing what he wants to do," Furner told The Canberra Times.

"He's keen and we'd love to have him there. It's obviously money, the salary cap and the NRL have got to approve it - we'll see."

- with AAP

Originally published as Skipper's sledge at NRL boomerang