Rapana officially returns to NRL's Raiders

Laine Clark
Jordan Rapana (c) was back training with Canberra after his brief rugby union sojourn

Winger Jordan Rapana has officially reunited with Canberra, signing a deal until the end of the 2020 NRL season.

The Raiders finally confirmed they had snapped up Rapana a day after the former New Zealand international was spotted training with Canberra on Wednesday.

After helping the Raiders reach the 2019 NRL grand final, Rapana was squeezed out of the club by salary cap pressure and signed with Japanese rugby outfit Panasonic Wild Knights.

But Rapana returned to Australia in March after the Japanese Top League competition was suspended due to coronavirus.

CEO Don Furner was happy to welcome back Rapana, who scored 69 tries in 113 NRL games with Canberra from 2014-19.

"We're thrilled to be able to have Jordan join us for the remainder of the 2020 season," he said.

"We know what quality he brings to the side and he adds another dimension of depth in our outside backs.

"He's a popular member of the playing group and it will be great to have his character around the dressing room."

Raiders coach Ricky Stuart said when Rapana arrived at training this week, it was "like he'd never left".

"It was great to have him back. He's one of us, he's a Raider," Stuart told Wide World of Sports' Freddy's Facetime.

"He was the unlucky one who had to be forced out last year.

"Fortunately, he had the opportunity to go and play professional rugby, but he's back and he just walked straight back in; it was like he'd never left."