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Huge blow for rugby league as “generational talent” reportedly agrees rugby union switch

Many players generated headlines during the Rugby League World Cup.

One more so than others was Samoa star Joseph Suaali’i.

The Sydney Roosters back was given the chance to star at fullback, a rare instance given James Tedesco, Australia skipper, is nailed on at one at the Roosters.

He truly shone as well due to his explosive running style and the power he possesses.

Suaali’i was described by the likes of former St Helens man Jon Wilkin and others as a “generational talent” however the task for rugby league is keeping him in the sport.

The World Cup Finalist is drumming up interest all across the planet despite still being a teenager.

The trouble at Sydney is they have three players capable of shining at fullback in Tedesco, Suaali’i and of course Golden Boot winner and New Zealand international Joey Manu.

Making things more difficult is that the experienced Tedesco has reportedly contacted the Roosters asking them to extend his deal even though he isn’t currently close to expiry.

If they do extend his deal, Suaali’i’s chances of playing fullback will become thinner which could only spark a further chance of a move away or even to a different sport.

The Sydney Morning Herald previously reported that the fullback could very well make the move to European Rugby Union or indeed Rugby Union down under.

This came as many questioned whether or not his move to the centres in 2023 would be enough to satisfy him and deter him from making the move away which could reportedly be worth $10 million.

It worked with Joey Manu in the past though even questions are being raised about his future now.

It is important that rugby league keeps a hold of Suaali’i, after all he is a generational talent.

The youngster has an option in his deal allowing him to extend his deal year on year.

He did so in 2023, and according to ZeroTackle, he was set to exercise this deal meaning he will stay with the Roosters until the end of next season.

However, from 2025 onwards he is set to leave our sport for rugby union with the Daily Telegraph reporting that he has agreed a $1.6 million move to rugby union in a blow for rugby league.

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