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Rapana on mission to fill Brumbies' backs

Jordan Rapana gets a pass away at Brumbies training.

Jordan Rapana gets a pass away at Brumbies training. Photo: Colleen Petch

Jordan Rapana's Mormon mission to Wales and England convinced him switching from rugby league to rugby union was the right decision and the former NRL rising star wants to make Canberra his home.

Rapana has been training with the ACT Brumbies and will play for Royals in the Canberra premier division this year.

The 23-year-old put his rugby league career with the Gold Coast Titans on hold for a two-year mission in Wales.

When he returned he signed with the Western Force, but after failing to make his Super Rugby debut last season, he is trying to impress the Brumbies.

Rapana doesn't have a contract, but the Brumbies gave him a chance to train with the top squad as a developing John I Dent Cup player.

Fellow Mormon Robbie Abel - who has just returned from his mission in Western Australia - has been given the same opportunity.

''I didn't really have anywhere to go [when my deal ended with the Force] and I got a chance to come over here and trial with the Brumbies,'' Rapana said.

''With a few injuries in the backs, I just started training but I didn't have a deal. This is a good opportunity for me so I'll play for Royals and hang around here to see how it goes.''

Rapana burst on to the NRL stage with five tries in his first five appearances. Instead of continuing a boom rise, the New Zealand-born winger chose religion over his career and opted out of the second year of his contract with the Titans.

He was tipped to return to league, but his time in the rugby union-dominated areas in England and Wales made him opt for a new challenge.

However, Rapana hasn't been able to recapture the sparkling form he showed when he was touted as the NRL's next big thing.

''Being around the union environment was great and I wanted to give it a crack. In a worldwide sense it's a bigger game and there are a lot more opportunities,'' he said.

''It's a big decision [to go on the mission] and a sacrifice knowing that after two years your body shuts down a bit. You've got to get your body fit and healthy again and it's taken me a year with the Force to get my body right again.

''Now after a year I feel fit and healthy … Now I feel fitter than when I went on the mission and ready to go if I do get a chance [with the Brumbies].''


Super Rugby pre-season: ACT Brumbies v Western Force at Rugby Park, Darwin, 9pm.

Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Report Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Stats
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Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Stats
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Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
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Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Stats
SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Stats
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Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA vs RSA 01:00Stadio Plebiscito
SCO vs TGA 01:30Rugby Park
IRE vs AUS 03:30Lansdowne Road
WAL vs NZL 04:30MilS
ENG vs SAM 06:00Twic
FRA vs ARG 07:00StdF
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Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG vs AUS 01:30Twic
WAL vs RSA 01:30MilS
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