NRL legends Cameron Smith, Johnathan Thurston and Andrew Johns have all urged Joseph Suaalii to remain with the Roosters, despite James Tedesco signing a new contract.
As Roosters fullback James Tedesco signed a new contract extension this week that will see him at the Roosters until the end of the 2025 season, it has created a big question surrounding Joseph Suaalii.
Suaalii, who is reported to want to play in the No.1 jersey, may leave the club if he wants to transition into the fullback position immediately.
Despite the constant rumours of Suaalii leaving the side, Cameron Smith has urged him to remain at the Roosters and learn from Tedesco.
"I know with James Tedesco it's going to be very hard to take him out of that No.1 jersey, but he's learning so much at this club, he's got wonderful players around him," he said on Nine's NRL coverage.
"His strength in the game is his physical attributes, his speed, power and size, but you're talking about improving his game awareness and his skill level."
"Learning from someone like James Tedesco, he's not going to get that from any other club."
"James Tedesco is the best fullback in the world and if he has aspirations of playing in the No.1 jersey, why not stick around and learn from the best, and when your time comes, take that No.1 jersey."
Echoing Smith's words was former NRL halfback Thurston. Thurston can easily relate to Suaalii's situation due to his time at the Bulldogs.
Before moving to the Cowboys, Thurston had to play under Braith Anasta and Brent Sherwin with the Bulldogs. Despite not getting the game time he hoped for, he was able to learn so much from the two playmakers.
Thurston continued and said his decision will come down to money versus winning.
"I had Braith (Anasta) and Brent Sherwin, so I had to bide my time there. I learnt so much from that playing group," he recalled.
"He just needs to think, does he want the success or does he want the money? That's what it'll come down to."
"If he wants to play fullback, then he's going to have to go somewhere else. But if he wants success, he's got an opportunity to win some premierships by the time he's 22 or 23 years old with this playing group."
Lastly, Andrew Johns had his own point of view on the situation but agreed with both Smith and Thurston. However, he elaborated that there were weaknesses in his game that he saw when he played for Samoa.
"When the knock or phone call comes that he's going to play fullback, he's got to be ready to go," Johns said.
"He's got to continue to work on his game, work on his weaknesses, which I don't think he has too many of."