Kevin Naiqama: Former St Helens star signs for Sydney Roosters after abandoning retirement plans
Kevin Naiqama initially planned to retire after St Helens' 2021 Super League Grand Final triumph, but has now agreed a one-year deal with the Roosters; Decision means the centre could captain Fiji at next year's postponed Rugby League World Cup
Last Updated: 08/12/21 10:51am
Former St Helens star Kevin Naiqama has abandoned his plans to retire and signed a one-year contract with NRL side Sydney Roosters.
The 32-year-old centre announced his decision to hang up his boots in the wake of scoring two tries and being awarded the Harry Sunderland Trophy in Saints' 12-10 Grand Final win over Catalans Dragons in October.
However, the Roosters have now announced the capture of the Fiji captain for the 2022 NRL season and Naiqama's decision puts him in position to lead his country at the postponed 2021 Rugby League World Cup.
"The Sydney Roosters are pleased to announce the signing of Fiji captain and three-time Super League champion Kevin Naiqama for season 2022," a statement from the club read.
Naiqama played 113 matches in the NRL for Newcastle Knights, Penrith Panthers and Wests Tigers before joining St Helens ahead of the 2019 season.
During his time at Totally Wicked Stadium, he played a part in Saints' three-straight Grand Final triumphs and helped them lift the Challenge Cup at Wembley in July this year.
On the international stage, he has featured in 19 Tests and 10 World Cup matches, being captain of Fiji since 2016, and will be aiming to return to these shores with the team in October and November next year.
Naiqama reported for his first pre-season training session with the Roosters on Wednesday and will hope to be in the squad for the opening match of the 2022 NRL season at home to Newcastle Knights on Saturday, March 12.