Sydney Roosters phenom Joseph Suaalii remains in the mix to make his Origin debut for the NSW Blues in 2024 despite his defection from Rugby League to Union at the end of the year.

The 20-year-old Penrith local agreed to a $5 million deal with Rugby Australia starting in 2025 and running until 2027.

While the decision has sparked discussion over Suaalii's eligibility for this year's State of Origin series, Blues coach Michael Maguire is set to keep Suaalii within his 40-man squad to be picked from in February, according to The Sydney Morning Herald. 

The story has already sparked controversy and will only generate further discussion as Origin I approaches and more notable figures have their say.

Phil Gould, NSW's most successful coach, said Suaalii should be kicked from the NRL entirely, given the unwanted commotion that would follow Rugby Australia.

“Every time he scores a try. Every time he does something in our game people are going to refer to the fact that he's going to rugby,” Gould said last March.

“Why do we need that? Go now. Don't let the door hit you on the arse on the way out. Go. Go now. Gone. He's made his decision.”

Suaalii may return to the Roosters at the end of his Rugby contract, with club chairman Nick Politis openly saying he will be welcomed back and Suaalii himself expressing a desire to eventually make a return to Sydney.

Origin I will kick off June 5 at Accor Stadium where the NSW Blues will look to respond after back-to-back series losses to the Maroons.


  1. That’s crap he can play origin, he has signed a deal with RUGBY. He’s walking away from the game and you’s want to reward him .


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