Code-switching Melbourne Storm wing Marika Koroibete is set to be fast-tracked into the Wallabies squad for their Grand Slam tour to Europe in November.
Having signed with the Melbourne Rebels for next year’s Super Rugby season, Koroibete has been asked to join the Wallabies on their five-Test, seven-match tour starting early November.
Preparing to play in the NRL finals, the Fiji-born flyer offers much-needed power and pace for a Wallabies side lacking X-factor on the wings and the tour will speed up his transition back to rugby union.
The 24-year-old played the 15-man game in Fiji and attended the same school as fellow Rebels outside back Sefa Naivalu, who has been training with the Wallabies and becomes eligible to play later this month.
However he hasn’t played rugby since moving to Australia and starting his league career with Wests Tigers in 2011.
Koroibete said he hadn’t spoken recently to Wallabies coach Michael Cheika, who is in Brisbane preparing the team to take on South Africa on Saturday night, but confirmed he would join the squad for the tour.
“I spoke to him before I signed with the Rebels and he’s going to take me on the spring tour with the boys,” Koroibete told the Australian Rugby Union’s official website.
“I’m just thinking of the Storm at the moment but I’m excited to get back into rugby union and it will be a big challenge after six or seven years not playing.”
Koroibete starred in the Storm’s impressive win over Cronulla in the final round last Saturday to seal the NRL minor premiership, bringing some fierce physicality in defence while topping his side for run metres.
Preparing to play in Melbourne’s NRL qualifying final against North Queensland on Saturday night at AAMI Park, Koroibete said he had been counting down his Storm games.
“Coming into the finals there’s not long to go so there’s a bit of emotion as I will miss the boys,” he added.
“It’s motivating me too as I want to finish on top and it would mean a lot to me and my family, especially my family back at home.”