Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
Joseph Suaalii made waves ahead of the 2021 NRL season when he moved from the South Sydney Rabbitohs to the Sydney Roosters on a multi-million dollar contract.
He was then given an exemption by the NRL to make his debut for the Roosters before he was 18-years-old.
As a teenager that was making headlines before even stepping on an NRL field, Suaalii has handled the pressure well and is now consistently playing at a high level for the Roosters.
In 2022 Suaalii has played in 15 games for the tri colours where he scored 13 tries, got two assists, made 77 tackles and averaged 133 running metres per game.
Suaalii will be looking to end his breakout year by being selected in the Samoan squad for the Rugby League World Cup where he would likely be a member of their starting side as they take on hosts England, France and newcomers Greece in the group stage.
Australian coach Mal Meninga has also confirmed Suaalii is being considered for the Kangaroos.
This may not be the only World Cup Suaalii takes part in over the next two years though as Rugby Australia has identified the 19-year-old as a potential recruit to the 15-a-side game ahead of the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
Roosters boss Nick Politis has recently spoken to The Daily Telegraph’s Phil “Buzz” Rothfield about Suaalii’s potential move to Rugby Union.
— Telegraph Sport (@telegraph_sport) August 6, 2022
“Who wouldn’t want Joseph?,” Politis said.
“He’s obviously a special player and person.
“We’ll have a chat next year about a long-term deal.
“I see Joseph as being a lifetime Rooster.
“He loves being here, he’s very humble and he fits nicely into our culture.”
Politis is obviously very high on Suaalii and will do everything he can to keep him at the Roosters.
Suaalii does have a background in Rugby Union which would be the primary reason why Rugby Australia is looking to recruit him.
That and the fact that the Wallabies have a lot of work to do after their recent test series loss to England on home soil.
Rugby Australia could be looking to recruit NRL players as an alternative way of reinvigorating the national team.