Future Wallabies star makes shock code switch to NRL
Rising Queensland rugby star Izaia Perese has reportedly made a shock defect to rugby league, walking away from the final year of his contract with the Reds.
The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting the 21-year-old winger has been absent from pre-season training for the past fortnight, and is believed to have signed a deal with Brisbane Broncos feeder club, the Redcliffe Dolphins.
Perese was touted to be the next 'big thing' for the Wallabies, but Fairfax is reporting the lure of making his debut for Australia was not enough to keep him in the 15-man game.
The report says Perese will front up at Broncos training this week and is expected to spend the 2019 season playing Queensland Cup with the Dolphins, but is likely to win a full-time deal for 2020.
Perese is a former Australian Schoolboy who won a GPS title with Anglican Church Grammar School alongside NRL stars Kalyn Ponga and Jaydn Su'a, as well as Mack Mason, Angus Scott Young, Liam Wright and Harley Fox.
During the Rugby Championships last year, Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said Perese was "killing it" while touring with the team in a training capacity.
"He's got that genuine pace, he's got a great mindset and a great attitude. He's coming along very nicely," he said.