The Sydney Roosters are reportedly weighing up whether to release Joseph Suaalii early if rugby union come knocking.

Despite being on contract at Bondi until at least the end of the 2024 season, Suaalii made the surprise call earlier this season to confirm he would depart the Roosters at the end of his contract to take up a spot with Rugby Australia.

Suaalii, who played the 15-man game during his youth, will aim for a spot in the Wallabies' side for both the 2025 tour by the British and Irish Lions, as well as the 2027 World Cup, which is set to be held on home soil in Australia.

Rugby Australia were believed to be chasing a number of other NRL stars although, as yet, haven't landed any further signatures. They are believed however to have a big-money play on the table for Brisbane Broncos and New South Wales State of Origin star Payne Haas, who, like Suaalii, is off-contract at the end of the 2024 season.

Suaalii is reportedly set to be paid $1.6 million per year - similar money is on the table for Haas according to reports.

But now The Wide World of Sports are reporting that the Roosters could consider the shock play of letting Suaalii go to rugby union early if Rugby Australia come knocking.

It's believed the move is being considered by powerbrokers in the rival code with the Wallabies struggling in a big way ahead of this year's World Cup under head coach Eddie Jones.

While no move would be considered by the Roosters prior to the end of this season, it's understood that a departure at the end of the campaign - likely the regular season in September given the tri-colours grim prospects of playing finals football - would still leave enough time for Suaalii to make the Wallabies' 2023 World Cup squad in France if Rugby Australia wanted to select him.

It comes with the Roosters struggling on the field in 2023. Suaalii in particular hasn't had any of the impact that turned him into one of the competition's best wingers last year and a bolter for the Blues' squad come Origin time.

A shift into the centres by coach Trent Robinson simply hasn't worked for the towering outside back, and struggles at both ends of the park have followed, with the 19-year-old scoring just two tries and tackling at under 80 per cent, while he is running just 107 metres per game compared to last season's 138.

The move would also free up significant salary cap room for the tri-colours, with that reportedly stretched for next season given the number of high-profile and big-money contracts they have on the books - Suaalii is on substantial money next season and with no prospect of him remaining at the club beyond that, it could be a move in the best interests of both parties.


Comments are closed.