All Blacks hooker and avid NRL fan Dane Coles says he'd back a code swap from former Hurricanes teammate TJ Perenara, believing the halfback is "made" for the 13-man code.
Coles spoke to media today after confirming he has re-signed with New Zealand Rugby and the Hurricanes until the end of 2023, but questions inevitably transitioned to Perenara.
1 NEWS revealed last week that Perenara is in discussions to join the Sydney Roosters with speculation swirling around New Zealand Rugby's willingness to re-sign the 29-year-old after his Japanese rugby stint.
Coles said if Perenara did swap to the NRL, he'd expect him to excel.
"The guy is made for league," Coles said.
"He's tough, he's fit, he's skillful - as much as I'd love to see him back in rugby, if it's a six-month gig for the Roosters, well, you don't get many of those in your lifetime."
Despite never playing the game himself, Perenara has plenty of links to rugby league through his family.
Perenara’s father, Thomas, was a Junior Kiwi and played alongside Kiwis great Kevin Iro. His first cousin, Henry, is now an NRL referee having played 72 games of first grade rugby league.
Perenara was also offered a contract with the Storm as a 15-year-old but turned it down.
Coles was asked if he believed Perenara would take up the code-swap, but the hooker wasn't as confident as he was about Perenara's potential.
"I haven't spoken to him and his family, but it's up to him," Coles said.
"I'm 50-50, I haven't heard anything in the changing room chat but it's a decision he's probably weighing up, for sure."
Coles added the idea of seeing Perenara in the NRL gave him an inner conflict though.
"Personally, because I'm a real passionate rugby league fan, it'd be awesome to see him have a crack.
"But if you put your rugby hat on, you don't want to lose a guy like that to the game, especially for the Hurricanes.
"I've played a lot of rugby with TJ and you don't get a lot of guys like that."
While today's new contract may quash any chance of his own venture to the NRL, Coles joked that much like his career in Super Rugby, there's only one club he'd ever play for.
"I'd only go to one team and that's the Warriors," he said.
"It'd be awesome to finish my career with them."