Wallabies prop Taniela Tupou has his eyes set on the 2025 British and Irish Lions series as he weighs up his future following the Rugby World Cup.
The gargantuan tighthead is contracted up until the end of this year, but Rugby Australia will hope to tie him down for longer.
They will face stiff competition from a number of foreign clubs, especially those in France and Japan, who will easily be able to outspend the governing body.
Tupou still has ambitions in Australia, however, and has targeted the Lions Tests, which take place in 2025.
Tick it off the list
“I want to tick that off and for that to happen, obviously I need to be injury free and be in Australia,” he told reporters.
“Looking forward to seeing what happens and hopefully the Reds are keen to have me here for the next few years.
“I’d love to stay back here in Australia but we’ll see what happens.”
The 26-year-old endured an injury-hit season in 2022 with his latest issue a ruptured Achilles sustained in the Wallabies’ 13-10 defeat to Ireland in the Autumn Nations Series.
It means that Tupou will miss the Reds’ entire Super Rugby campaign and is a doubt for the World Cup, with the prop’s immediate objective to get back fit.
“My focus now is trying to get my Achilles right and we’ll see what happens after that,” he added.
Eddie Jones’ influence
Tupou also has to prove himself to new head coach Eddie Jones, who replaced Dave Rennie recently in a shock move by Rugby Australia.
The tighthead was asked whether Jones’ appointment would convince him to stay and his response was straight to the point.
“Nah, not really,” he said.
“I haven’t worked with him or done anything with Eddie before but I’ve heard a lot of good stories.
“From what I know he’s a very successful coach, especially in a World Cup year.
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“If I get a chance to work with him, I’ll be excited because I’m sure I’ll learn a lot from him.”