Former Melbourne Storm winger and two-time premiership winner Suliasi Vunivalu has been named in the squad to represent the Australia Wallabies in the 2023 Rugby World Cup after converting to the code in 2021.

Vunivalu will be aiming to join the prestigious list of former rugby league players earning selection into the Wallabies squad. A list that includes the likes of former NRL players such as; Ricky Stuart, Wendell Sailor, Mat Rogers, Lote Tuqiri, Timana Tahu, Israel Folau, Karmichael Hunt and Marika Koroibete.

The latter on the list, Koroibete, has also been selected to represent the Wallabies at the World Cup and was in the Storm's first-grade squad at the same time Vunivalu was coming through the ranks- meaning their paths crossed in Melbourne.

Born in Fiji, Vunivalu was recruited by the Storm at the young age of 18 after being an impressive standout in schoolboy rugby union, which included earning development team honours for the Super Rugby club the Auckland Blues. For the next two years with the Storm, he would represent their NYC Under 20s team.

From then, he would make his NRL debut in Round 7 for the Storm against the Wests Tigers the following season in 2016- scoring a double on his debut.

Before becoming a cross-code athlete and transitioning to rugby union, Vunivalu played 111 NRL games for the Melbourne Storm between 2016-2020, scoring 344 points (88 tries) during that time and winning two NRL premierships.

“Suli has the potential to be a Test matchwinner,” Wallabies head coach Eddie Jones said via Fox Sports.

“I'm really pleased with how he's been progressing through Super Rugby.”

His short NRL career would include the following honours:

  • 2016: NRL Most tries in a debut season (23)
  • 2016: Dally M Top Try Scorer (23)
  • 2016 Minor Premiership Winners
  • 2017: NRL- Most tries in first two seasons (46)
  • 2017: Dally M Top Try Scorer (23)
  • 2017 Minor Premiership Winners
  • 2017 NRL Grand Final Winners
  • 2018 World Club Challenge Winners
  • 2020 NRL Grand Final Winners
CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 22: Suliasi Vunivalu of the Storm flys through the air as he scores a try during the round two NRL match between the Canberra Raiders and the Melbourne Storm at GIO Stadium on March 22, 2019 in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Tracey Nearmy/Getty Images)