Kiwi Raider Jordan Rapana embracing strange homecoming feeling for ANZAC Test in Canberra


When the Kiwis arrived in Canberra last night, it was a strange sort of homecoming for star winger Jordan Rapana.

But as the only Raiders player in the national side, he'll be the enemy during the ANZAC Test tomorrow.

Rapana isn't using the familiar feelings of GIO Stadium as an advantage though.

"If I'm lucky enough to get a few tries obviously that's a bonus but I just want to make sure Im’ limited in my errors and playing well," he said.

The winger has formed a lethal combination with Joey Leilua at the Raiders - something he and roommate, Kiwis centre Dean Whare, are trying to emulate.

"We've spoken about it - hopefully we can gel out here on the field and deliver a similar type of performance."

Training sessions are largely being kept under wraps in the build-up to tomorrow night's clash with the Kangaroos with only a select few getting the chance to watch, including Kiwis great Nigel Vagana who was present yesterday.

Issues around an international Test in the middle of the NRL season were the main reason for ending the tradition that started 20 years ago.

It's a decision call that still doesn't sit well with Kiwis teammate Simon Mannering, who's played in the commemorative fixture for the best part of a decade.

"I'm not too sure about that decision," he said.

"I think, for our game, any time you can grow the international game, it’s going to be be good for any competition."

It's also a case of farewelling the fixture just as he returns.

After an injury ravaged 2016, the former captain is set to play his first game for New Zealand in two years.

"Obviously it's the pinnacle of the sport so having a couple of years out, I’m very thankful to be back in the side for this Test."

One that doubles as the Kiwis' last chance to secure ANZAC bragging rights.

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