Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
When Apisai Koroisau returned to the Penrith Panthers in 2020 the club began their rise to prominence in the competition.
At the end of that same season the Panthers played in their first Grand Final in 17 years and 2021 won their third premiership.
This year they finished first on the ladder for the second time in three years and are once again just one win away from the Grand Final.
Koroisau’s impact at club level has been undeniable as he has been a key component during Penrith’s dominant run over the past three seasons.
He was rewarded for his efforts by being selected for the New South Wales State of Origin squad and now could have to decide where his international allegiance lies.
The hooker is eligible to play for Australia or Fiji at this year’s Rugby League World Cup with multiple players vying for the Kangaroos number nine jersey.
Koroisau has been named in the Bati’s squad for the World Cup though and Fiji’s head coach Joe Rabele is hopeful that the 29-year-old will choose to play in his side whether he is selected for Australia or not.
“I know that he has some interest to play for the Kangaroos, but the door is still open for Api Koroisau,” Rabele told a press conference in Fiji.
“Hopefully he will get back to me because we will send invitation letters to all the clubs for all the players that we select [to confirm] if they want to be part of this program, so we are waiting for them to respond.
“We are departing for England on October 25 so before we depart we need to select our best team that we can for the World Cup.”
Koroisau is unlikely to decide before the end of the 2022 NRL finals series which has at least been extended by two weeks for the Panthers after they defeated the Parramatta Eels on Friday night and earned themselves a spot in the Grand Final qualifier.
Following the World Cup Koroisau will move to the Wests Tigers on a two-year deal as the club is coming off of its first wooden spoon season in franchise history.