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Tevita Pangai Junior opens up on NRL exit, Eddie Jones Wallabies strategy, Kevin Walters relationship


Tevita Pangai Junior has left the door open for a return to the NRL and has reportedly had preliminary talks with the Broncos a few short-term deal.

The 27-year-old sensationally give up rugby league final yr, strolling out on a $750,000 contract with the Bulldogs to pursue a profession in boxing.

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However rumours of a return started after he was noticed watching on at a Broncos coaching session just lately.

Whereas Pangai Junior informedInformation Corp he’s solely targeted on boxing “proper now” the identical masthead studies he has spoken to Broncos bosses a few attainable return to the membership after June on a four-month deal.

The Broncos haven’t tabled a suggestion, however Pangai Junior is open to juggling his boxing profession with the NRL — supplied the membership can match him underneath the wage cap.

The previous star prop opened up on his resolution to stroll away from rugby league, declaring he has “no regrets” and he’s “simply completely satisfied to be again in Brisbane with my life settled once more.”

He additionally broke his silence on the Broncos go to, revealing the explanation he was on the coaching session was as a result of the daughter of his boxing coach wished to satisfy Reece Walsh and Payne Haas.

“That’s why all these rumours began occurring about me coming again to the Broncos, however it’s not the primary time I’ve gone to look at Broncos coaching,” he mentioned.

Pangai Junior, who has signed a two-year combat deal, may very a lot find yourself again within the NRL — and believes he nonetheless has one thing to supply — however is decided to throw every thing into his boxing profession for now.

“I’m dedicated to boxing however I haven’t dominated out taking part in NRL once more,” he mentioned.

“Proper now, I’m targeted on boxing, however I feel I can nonetheless undoubtedly combine it within the NRL. I’m solely 28 and I’m simply hitting my peak as a front-rower.

“Skill clever, I can nonetheless do one thing within the NRL, however I’m taking boxing severely and respecting the game.”

He’s assured although that he may juggle each sports activities if he wished to.

“I don’t hate rugby league. You undoubtedly didn’t see one of the best of me within the NRL. I really feel like I may have completed higher with my consistency, however I don’t know what the longer term holds,” he mentioned.

“I feel I can reach two sports activities. Boxing and rugby league work collectively in some ways, I don’t assume the coaching can damage me in boxing and vice-versa with league.

“If I used to be to go down that path – mixing boxing and NRL — I don’t assume it could be a difficulty for me.”

Pangai Junior spent his final two seasons within the sport with the Bulldogs and had a contract value $750,000 for 2024. However he walked.

He shut down rumours suggesting basic supervisor Phil Gould paid him out $250,000 and hit again at those that might imagine he’s pushed by cash.

“The reality is there was no payout,” he mentioned.

“Whereas most of my discussions had been with the coach, I acquired on with ‘Gus’ (Gould).

“When he came upon about my resolution, we undoubtedly spoke about it and he mentioned if I ever wanted something, he can be there for me which I appreciated. I used to be completely satisfied that I may depart with none unhealthy blood.

“I didn’t get a cent from the Canine. Anybody who has handled me is aware of I’m particularly reasonable on the negotiating desk. I’m not pushed by cash. My dad and mom all the time mentioned don’t rip anybody off. I’ve had greater provides in my time within the NRL and I fortunately took much less to play in profitable groups.

“I don’t care if individuals assume I’m cash hungry. I acquired to maneuver again to Brisbane and field and the Canine had $750,000 to play with.

“I feel it was a good deal in the long run.”

Pangai Junior dived deeper into his exit from the sport revealing his aching need to maneuver again to Brisbane and the promise he had made the Bulldogs earlier than the 2023 season.

“To be sincere, I simply hated Sydney. I didn’t benefit from the metropolis,” he mentioned.

“There’s a purpose my dad and mom moved out of Sydney once I was 12. The place sucks. I’ll by no means transfer again.

“My massive factor was being in Brisbane. Individuals don’t perceive how a lot I really like being again residence with my spouse’s household and with the ability to work with my (boxing) coach in Brisbane.

“There’s no challenge with Cameron. He is aware of what we spoke about.

“I had some objectives I wrote down and I informed them if I didn’t meet them, I’d give up the NRL and take up boxing.

“I mentioned to ‘Ciro’ if we didn’t make the highest eight, that I would depart the membership and I’d go with out a payout.

“We had an important relationship. Cameron didn’t wish to maintain me to these phrases, however I felt I dropped under my commonplace on the Canine and I wasn’t pleased with myself.”

It didn’t take lengthy for information of Pangai Junior’s NRL exit to finish up on the radar of Wallabies coach Eddie Jones and the pair met “only a few days” after the bombshell was dropped.

“It’s true I spoke to Eddie Jones,” Pangai Junior mentioned.

“He was fairly eager to signal me, he informed me to look at some footage of video games and I discussed to him that I had performed No.8 and preferred watching Toutai Kefu and Willie Ofahengaue (former Wallabies).

“I undoubtedly considered going to rugby. There’s the Lions tour and the World Cup developing. I performed rugby union as a child, so I do know the sport, however I had informed the Bulldogs I wished to check myself in boxing and I wished to stay to my phrase.”

Initially printed as Tevita Pangai Junior opens up on NRL exit, Eddie Jones Wallabies strategy

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