Perenara's passion - to play his best for Wellington

TOBY ROBSON
Last updated 05:00 29/09/2012
TJ Perenara
ROSS GIBLIN/Fairfax NZ
RETURNING NO 9: Standout halfback TJ Perenara has signed for two years with the Hurricanes and Wellington Lions for the 2013 and 2014 seasons.

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TJ Perenara is resisting the temptation of a late season return to rugby in the best interests of a career he hopes to play out exclusively in the colours of Wellington and the Hurricanes.

He has signed a contract keeping him in the capital at provincial and Super Rugby level for two years, but remains sidelined after breaking his ankle in June.

Perenara, 20, confirmed his rehabilitation was going well. He'd had a screw removed a few weeks ago and resumed light running last week.

There was a chance he would be ready to play the final two rounds of Wellington's national provincial campaign, but it was now highly unlikely.

"I'd love to play this year. It was a goal of mine at the start of the injury, but I need my ankle to be 100 per cent and I don't want to play in a jersey I have so much pride in with a half-pie effort.

"I want to play and if I'm thinking with my heart I'm getting out there and playing now, but thinking broader and longer term it's probably not the best for me to play two games when there is a future ahead."

Perenara said his decision to re-sign with Wellington and the Hurricanes had been a no-brainer.

"When I think about it, my passion is with the Hurricanes and the Lions and, in all honesty, to put on another jersey and being as passionate and driven to succeed I don't see it happening," he said.

Perenara's stocks rose dramatically during his rookie Super Rugby season and some were picking he would be an end-of-year tourist with the All Blacks before he broke his ankle playing the Reds on the Gold Coast.

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