One man’s future has flown under the radar and the potential collapse of Super Rugby Australia could see a Fijian flyer backflip on his deal.
Melbourne winger Suliasi Vunivalu signed with the Queensland Reds back in December on a two-year, $1.8 million deal in a bid to look after his family, with no NRL club able to match the $900,000-a-season deal.
However, Super Rugby Australia has suffered monumental blows in the last few months that will see salaries cut drastically in 2020, meaning that the huge contract, which seems to be the main factor behind Vunivalu’s defection, won’t be the same any longer.
We’ve already seen it in rugby league, with Jai Arrow admitting he’s comfortable taking less than the initial $800,000 a year contract he signed for with South Sydney late last year, which is set to begin in 2021.
The winger is in his fifth year of first-grade with the Storm, not to mention being a member of that dominant 2017 NRL Grand Final winning side.
A backflip from Vunivalu would not only ease the club’s backline crisis, but also make it more comfortable for the Storm to grant Josh Addo-Carr’s compassionate release to return to Sydney without receiving a ‘like for like’ replacement like Melbourne had previously stated.
Melbourne would no doubt be delighted to secure his services, having scored 74 tries in just 96 NRL games (0.77 tries per game), and while there is no guarantees on either side of the fence yet, things are certainly not as settled as they seem.