Former England international Denny Solomona has returned home to New Zealand and has his sights set on playing Super Rugby this season.
Born and raised in New Zealand, Solomona moved to Australia at the age of 15 to represent the Melbourne Storm. After a stint with the team for two years, he moved north to play in the United Kingdom’s Super League before finally making the switch to rugby union and joining Sale Sharks in 2016.
As a surprise move, Solomona prematurely ended his contract with Sale at the end of last year to return to New Zealand and spend time with family, but the 28-year-old has now revealed that he also has ambitions to play Super Rugby.
“I’ve reached a point in my career where something is missing,” he said in an interview with the NZ Herald this week. “My back is itchy, I’ve never scratched before and that’s coming home.
“The competition is fierce. Anyone who knows rugby knows Super Rugby. It would be great to go back and hit the ground running with where I come from and play against the guys I grew up with.”
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Solomona, who attended St Peter’s College in Auckland, played schoolboy and club rugby with a number of current Super Rugby stars including Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Patrick Tuipulotu and Bryn Hall.
Although Solomona was called up to the England national team in 2017, he was only part of the team for one season and under the recent World Rugby rule changes, he would now be eligible to play for another country where he has played. close and credible ties, including New Zealand and Samoa.
“The ambition is to play in a World Cup,” he said. “The eligibility rules have changed, but I have to earn my spot. Just because I say I’m excited doesn’t mean you’ll go right in.
“I want to get some good performances and start loving my rugby more and being surrounded by family.”
While squads have already been determined for this year’s Super Rugby Pacific competition, there is a chance Solomona will join a side as injury cover once he arrives in New Zealand.
Rugby sales director Alex Sanderson suggested last year that Solomona’s recent return to form would likely have resulted in the winger getting a contract extension with the club. At just 28 years old, Solomona still has plenty of time to dive into Super Rugby, especially if he’s able to replicate the impact he had during his formative years following his move to rugby union.
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