Souths teenage prodigy Joseph Suaalii (Image: WWOS)

The Sydney Roosters have lodged an exemption to the NRL that may allow teenage sensation Joseph Suaalii to play with the Chooks as a 17-year-old, per The Daily Telegraph

Suaalii, who turns 18 in September, joined the Roosters on a two-year deal from rivals South Sydney last year in what turned out to be a major tug-of-war for the highly-touted Kings prodigy.

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ARLC chairman Peter V’landys confirmed to The Telegraph that the Roosters had officially filed their request to receive an exemption for the game’s age rule that doesn’t allow players under the age of 18 to compete in the league.

“They have lodged an application,” V’landys said.

“We have however, required additional information to consider that application.

“The Roosters are in the process of providing that information.

“The information is in relation to the welfare of the player … what’s going to happen with his education moving forward, that he is physically and mentally capable.

“They are going to have to answer all those questions before the Commission would give consideration.”

Despite an exemption being on the cards for both Suaalii and the Tri-colours, V’landys stated the NRL’s age rule will be here to stay.

“It was never going to be a blanket change to the rule. There is a rule that gives the Commission discretion on all rules,” he said.

“We didn’t want rules that are too prescriptive and at times not in the best interest of the games.

“So the age rule is still there. But we can consider specific cases.”

V’landys added that Suaalii is a “real exemption” and isn’t expecting to receive several more requests for a similar plea.

“I don’t think so. This young gentlemen is a real exception. But any club is able to make an application on this or any matter,” he said.



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