Rapana was born in Wellington and moved to Gold Coast as a 10-year-old, playing junior football for Tugun Seahwaks, before signing with the Titans.
Made his NRL debut for Gold Coast in 2008 and was named in the NYC Team of the Year that season, also playing for NZ Maori.
The following year, he left on a two-year Mormon mission and returned to a season of Super Rugby with the Western Force in 2012. Rapana moved to Canberra in the hope of cracking the Brumbies roster, but instead, signed with the Raiders.
In 2013, he also represented Cook Islands at the Rugby League World Cup and made his first-grade debut for Canberra the following season.
In 2016, Rapana scored 23 tries, equal most in the NRL and breaking the Canberra club record. He was rewarded with a Kiwis debut against Australian in Perth and scored two tries against England in the subsequent Four Nations opener.