Australia Sevens tie in NRL player

Date published: April 12 2016

NRL club Wests Tigers have agreed to release Jesse Parahi from his contract so that he can return to the Australian Sevens team.

Parahi has secured a two-year deal with the national team with the aim of being part of his country's squad at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The 26-year-old played both rugby league and rugby union throughout school before spending two years in the Brumbies academy.

He then made the switch to the Australian Sevens program for five years, until he joined the Tigers in November last year and has had limited opportunities due to a number of injury setbacks.

Parahi said the opportunity to secure his future with the Australian Sevens squad was too good to turn down.

“I’ve received an opportunity to return to the Australian Rugby Sevens team,” Parahi told Wests Tigers' official website.

“It has offered me a little bit more security over the next couple of years and I thought it would be a really good time to take that.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time back in Rugby League, especially with Wests Tigers, they’ve been really good to me and it’s going to be sad to leave but I had to take this opportunity.

“I’ve made some really good friends here and that’s one of the saddest parts of leaving — I just really want to thank those guys for looking after me and showing me the ropes.”

Wests Tigers Head Coach Jason Taylor thanked Parahi for his efforts and application during his time at the club.

“We wish Jesse all the best going back to Rugby Union,” Taylor said. 

“We really enjoyed having him at the club and he brought a really professional attitude during his time here.

“In the end, we didn’t want to hold him back from a two-year contract (with Australian Rugby), while at this stage he only had the remainder of the season to go with us.

“Injuries knocked Jesse around (during his time at Wests Tigers), he picked up a knock in the last training session of our first trial game and from there it was a bit of a run of outs for him.

“That really halted his progression, which is disappointing because he was making good progression in regards to understanding the game.”

Parahi, a former Australian Schools RugbyUnion representative, made his national Sevens debut in London in May 2010 going on to represent Australia 33 times at World Series level.

He played at the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament in Russia and was part of Australia's squad that won a Bronze Medal at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014.