Rona in the running for Wallabies: Cheika

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika says new Force recruit Curtis Rona could be a Wallaby, though he won't be rushing him into a Spring Tour squad.

The current Canterbury Bulldogs winger was announced as a one of the Force’s 2017 signings on Friday morning, after a promising stint with the NRL club.

Rona will return to Perth, where he grew up, for the 2017  season and despite being New Zealand-born would be eligible for the Australian Test side.

Cheika said Rona would certainly come into calculations once he started Super Rugby.

“You meet him and he's very hungry to do well in this sport,” he said.

“I think that's what we've always said about players - he played rugby before he went to league, (but) I've always said about players who come from rugby league to play here it's got to be because they want to play the game."

Rona would be a handy addition to the Wallabies outside back ranks, with Joe Tomane set to head to France at the end of the year.

With Sefa Naivalu to become Test eligible by the time Spring Tour rolls around and with the Rebels’ recent acquisition of NRL star Marika Koroibete, Rona would add to a host of exciting wingers in Wallabies contention.

Cheika said Rona was showing an eagerness to be involved and would be watching him with interest.

“He's certainly a guy that wants to play the game, he's really keen to come back, he's really keen to be a part of what's happening in Perth going forward and he's had a great season so far this year.

“I’m really looking forward to him being involved in Super Rugby next year and we'll see how it goes from there.

“He's certainly a talent."