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Rapana is on a mission for the Raiders

Canberra recruit Jordan Rapana looked destined to be the NRL's next big thing four years ago after scoring five tries in as many matches for the Gold Coast Titans.
Rapana is on a mission for the Raiders
by AAP

By David Barbeler

CANBERRA, June 24 AAP - Canberra recruit Jordan Rapana looked destined to be the NRL's next big thing four years ago after scoring five tries in as many matches for the Gold Coast Titans.

But the Wellington-born Mormon instead chose religion over an immediate rugby league career.

He spent the next two years of his life on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in rugby dominated England and Wales.

"I guess that's where I picked up the rugby union urge to play," the 100kg outside back said.

"I enjoyed my time doing the mission. It was cold, but good."

That urge stayed with Rapana until his return to Australia, leading him to join the Western Force in Super Rugby in 2012 before travelling to Canberra in a bid to crack the highly-competitive Brumbies squad.

Instead, Rapana has found himself back in the NRL at the Raiders, with the long-term losses of winger Edrick Lee (broken arm) and suspended NSW winger Blake Ferguson (indecent assault charge) creating space for him.

At just 23 years old, Rapana has plenty of time to pick up where he left off.

"I'm very excited, I've missed rugby league and I can't wait to get back into it," Rapana said.

"I feel like it's my first day at school meeting all the new boys and hopefully I can get stuck in and play some NSW Cup as soon as possible and set some goals to play some NRL."

Rapana, who has been playing for the Queanbeyan Blues in the TTM Canberra Raiders Cup, will be a great fit for his new club, who have had more than their fair share of alcohol related off-field dramas this season.

Captain Terry Campese on Monday said Rapana had been outstanding for the Titans before his switch to rugby.

"He wasn't as successful as he wanted to be (in rugby) but it's good to have him at the club to add to the depth we've got here now," Campese said.

"I'm sure he'll be throwing his hand up to play first grade anytime soon."




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