The Roosters look to have signed ‘the next best thing’ coming out of Fiji, with highly-touted teenager Vuate Karawalevu making the switch from rugby union, per The Daily Telegraph.
Arriving from the Kaiviti Silktails, the flashy fullback looks to be another massive coup for the Tri-colours, who have built a partnership with the Fijian club.
The Silktails will call Sydney home for the next seven months, featuring in the Ron Massey Cup after originally being invited to play in the NSWRL last season prior to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Karawalevu made a shock decision to switch to rugby league despite being named in Fiji’s Under 18’s World Cup squad, with Silktails boss Steve Driscoll heavily praising the 19-year-old.
“It would be like rugby union signing Brad Fittler as a schoolboy,” Driscoll told The Telegraph.
“Right now, Vuate’s the hottest Fijian prospect in either code.
“With his powerful build and playing style, he’s a bit like Latrell Mitchell. And he can kick goals too.
“Only last season he signed to play with the Brumbies (in Super Rugby) but that deal fell through because of COVID. And after seeing what we’re doing with the Silktails — and our partnership with the Roosters — he has decided to switch across.
“He’s already signed with the Roosters and has come across as part of our squad.”
Karawalevu looks to be one of many Fijian prospects set to shine in the NSWRL, with Driscoll believing he could be just the tip of the iceberg.
“Some of the numbers these guys are putting up in the gym, it’s scary.
“We haven’t seen anything like it before.
“And right now, there really is a factory of these young guys in Fiji.
“It’s almost like every time we turn up a rock over there, we find another one.”
Karawalevu will have plenty of competition to land the Chooks No.1 jumper, with superstar fullback James Tedesco not looking to leave his throne anytime soon, while uncapped junior Joseph Suaalii firms to be Trent Robinson’s star of the future.