Star Wallaby Mark Nawaqanitawase has confirmed his decision to code hop from rugby union to the NRL in 2025.

Reports last month suggested he was weighing up a contract offer from the Sydney Roosters, and now the Roosters have confirmed a two-year deal has been done.

The move will see him play the 13-man game in 2025 and 2026 at Bondi with Trent Robinson's side, who themselves will lose Joseph Suaalii over the same time period after he agreed to go in the opposite direction.

The club's head of recruitment Daniel Anderson said he was delighted.

“We're delighted to have secured Mark's services and look forward to welcoming him to our club in 2025. In the meantime, we wish him all the best for a successful 2024 in rugby union," Anderson said in a club statement.

Rugby union have attempted to poach multiple NRL stars in recent times, but Suaalii, who signed a monstrous $1.6 million per year deal with Rugby Australia to feature in the 2025 British and Irish Lions tour, as well as the 2027 Rugby World Cup on home soil, was the only one to make the switch.

Nawaqanitawase going the other way is a bitter blow for Rugby Australia, with the youngster one of the best up and coming players in the game, and, at the age of 23, already having 11 caps for the Wallabies to go with 45 games for the Waratahs.

The star winger and fullback, who could directly replace Suaalii at the Roosters in 2025, played at the 2023 World Cup in France in what was a disastrous campaign for the Wallabies.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported earlier that the young star told Rugby Australia, the Waratahs, the Roosters and his teammates on Wednesday evening that he had made the decision to join the Roosters, while his manager Angus Fairbairn told the publication that it was an "emotional decision."

“This has been an intense process for Mark and his family, which has taken some time to navigate,” Fairbairn said.

“At 23, Mark feels now is the best time to stay in Australia, but have a new experience in the Roosters program for 2025 and 2026. Trent Robinson has a long line of success with working with rugby union talent – which ultimately was the catalyst in Mark's decision.

“Mark has been highly developed as a player and person by the NSW Waratahs and Rugby Australia since 2018. He has come through a pathway from St Pats College, Eastwood, Australian 20s and Australian sevens. He is where he is today with all the hard work and support of his various teammates and coaches, at amateur and professional level.

“A lot of good people, including the fans, have been involved in Mark's journey, which has made this decision an emotional one. We hope the door will be open for Mark to return to the Wallabies fold in the future.”

The nature of a two-year deal, and the comment regarding his potential return to the Wallabies in the future suggests this won't be a long-term permanent move, as is the case with Suaalii who has left the door open to return to the Roosters and the NRL in the future.

The deal means Nawaqanitawase will remain with the Waratahs and rugby union throughout 2024, before linking up with the Roosters in November next year.

He will be aiming to replicate the formline of another winger who recently made the switch from rugby union - albeit the sevens version - to the Melbourne Storm in Will Warbrick.

The path of Nawaqanitawase is an almost unchartered one in the modern game though, with the 23-year-old becoming the first incumbent Wallaby to make the code switch in two decades.

Nawaqanitawase becomes just the Roosters' 18th contracted player for 2025, leaving the club with some salary cap wiggle room remaining, but a lot of work still to do in securing star back Joseph Manu, among other uncontracted players.