A conversation with Sonny Bill Williams has helped sway teenage sensation Joseph Suaalii away from South Sydney to rivals, the Sydney Roosters, per the Sydney Morning Herald.
Suaalii is contracted to the Rabbitohs next year but wants a release that would allow him to join the Roosters.
However, the Roosters are the only club that the Rabbitohs aren’t prepared to release him to, leaving the two teams at loggerheads at the negotiation table.
Battler clubs like Souths do all the hard work spotting a diamond in the rough like Joseph Suaalii and the Roosters just swoop in and take him #salarysombrero
— West Sydney Sport (@WestSydneySport) October 26, 2020
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the Roosters are poised to sign Suaalii on a three-year deal which starts from 2022, worth half as much as he could’ve earned at Souths.
The deal includes get-out clauses, which would allow Suaalii to switch codes if he desired to.
There was widespread speculation earlier in the year that Suaalii could pursue a career in rugby union.
But the Roosters put the clauses in their contract with the confidence that he’ll settle in at Sydney.
Suaalii and members of his family met up with Roosters’ coach Trent Robinson to discuss the deal, Williams was also at the meeting to help convince Suaaliii to make the deal.
Williams spoke to the teenage prodigy about his own experiences of being a cross-code athlete and explained why the Roosters would be the perfect home.
Also in the meeting were discussions on what Suaalii’s role for the future was, with the Roosters telling him that he would be the long-term replacement for James Tedesco.
Teen freak Joseph Suaalii is an absolute unit (check out those shorts 👀)
(🎥: mrrogerfabri) pic.twitter.com/y2Y4pL47Y2
— Telegraph Sport (@telegraph_sport) October 1, 2020