NRL Rd 23 - Eels v Cowboys
GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 21: Will Penisini of the Eels scores a try during the round 23 NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the North Queensland Cowboys at Cbus Super Stadium, on August 21, 2021, in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Parramatta centre Will Penisini refuses to shut down talk of a near-future switch to Rugby Union, as Rugby Australia set sights on close-mate Joseph Suaalii for a cross-code switch.

Both Penisini and Suaalii played rugby for The King's School in Sydney growing up before being snatched away, Suaalii playing his juniors for the South Sydney Rabbitohs while Penisini moved straight into the Eels system.

Despite Parramatta already making moves to extend the youngster beyond 2023, the temptation of running out for the Wallabies could be enough to see the centre make the switch.

“I’m not closing the door on rugby union,” Penisini told News Corp.

“Right now, I am content with where I am at Parramatta and I’m loving rugby league at the moment. I am just at the start of my career and I want to build my game and focus on playing consistent footy for Parramatta and try not to look too far ahead about the decision between rugby league or rugby union.”

Free to talk to rivals from November 1, including union, losing Penisini would be diabolical for Parramatta, who will bid farewell to Reed Mahoney, Isaiah Papali'i, Ray Stone, Oregon Kaufusi and Marata Niukore for the 2023 season.

Despite the fast approaching November 1 deadline, Penisni won't be making a call on his future during the current season.

“There are some great people here and some great coaching staff.

“To be honest, I’m not too sure where all the contract stuff is at the moment but I have left that up to my management to deal with. I just want to focus on the job we have right now and that’s playing good footy and the finals.”

PENRITH, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 18: Joseph Suaalii of the Roosters looks dejected after the Roosters were defeated by the Pamthers during the round 15 NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and the Sydney Roosters at Panthers Stadium, on June 18, 2021, in Penrith, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Suaalii on the other hand has a getup clause at the end of every season to walk to the rival code if he chooses, something Rugby Union Australia are banking on in the lead up to the 2027 Rugby World Cup.

The Roosters outside back played down talks of the move, instead singing praise for his current club instead.

“I love this club, I love the Roosters and everyone here. I don’t think I want to leave for a long time. I haven’t looked that far ahead, honestly.”

While both are in the frame for future Blues selection, Suaalii remains a bolter for the Kangaroos leading into the Rugby League World Cup, despite the teenager being eligible for Samoa as well.

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