The Sydney Roosters have reportedly made a surprising decision on one of their forwards for next season due to their plethora of forward stocks in the second row.

While David Fifita may have backflipped on his decision to join the Roosters and will remain at the Gold Coast Titans, Sitili Tupouniua, Siua Wong, Nat Butcher, Egan Butcher, and Angus Crichton are all still battling it out for a spot in the starting team and on the interchange bench.

According to reports from News Corp, this has allowed the Sydney Roosters to grant Tupouniua permission to speak with rival clubs, and he is free to leave at the end of the season.

The surprising news comes despite him being contracted until the end of the 2027 season and is understood to be on a contract worth $650,000 per season.

It is understood that while he has been given permission to leave Bondi, there is no certainty that he will end up departing the club.

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Beginning the season as a second-row starter, Tupouniua has spent the past few weeks in the NSW Cup after succumbing to a concussion in Round 5 against the Canterbury Bulldogs and has only featured in two NRL games since both coming off the interchange bench.

A three-time Tongan international, the forward has managed 92 first-grade games since his debut in 2018 and agreed to a three-year contract extension with the Roosters at the end of last season.

“This Club has become a second family to me so I'm really happy to continue my journey with the Roosters,” Tupouniua at the time of re-signing.

“I'm committed to giving my all for this Club and I'm excited to contribute to the team's success in the coming years,” he added.