Suaalii inks huge seven-figure deal with Rugby Australia

Suaalii signs huge seven-figure contract with Rugby Australia
One of rugby league’s brightest stars, Joseph-Aukuso Sua’ali’i, will turn away from the NRL from the start of the 2025 season to join the game’s fifteen-man archrival after signing a seven-figure contract with Rugby Australia.

There has been evidence in football circles for some time that Sua’ali’i is considering a mega bid from Australia’s top rugby bosses, with the figure being tossed around close to $1.6million a year. While the 19-year-old has publicly denied the possibility, he and his camp were clearly working on it behind the scenes.

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The Sydney Roosters will keep Sua’ali’i on the books through the end of 2024.

Sua’ali’i has just activated an extension of his already quite good NRL contract for next year. Previously, he could have left the tricolor club at the end of this season but has put that option on hold for now.

The rugby swap makes sense, too: the 2027 World Cup is tantalizing bait for anyone looking to succeed in the fifteen-a-side codex, and the 19-year-old star has never made a secret of his desires.

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Moving in 2025 helps his World Cup cause all the more. Australia meet the British and Irish Lions for the first time since 2009 in the same year. Sua’ali’i will also play rugby for two and a half seasons before the start of the World Cup.

Before that, the Samoan international will play around 40 to 50 games with the Roosters if he remains injury-free. He has already played 27 games for the tricolor and a further six for Samoa at the World Cup. While Sua’ali’i was desperate to play at full-back for the Roosters, he got stuck behind James Tedesco and played down the middle.

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At least that solves Sydney’s problem – Teddy is likely to continue playing at full-back.

Sua’ali’i will be hoping to help the Roosters to an NRL premiership before he leaves. If he doesn’t, however, there’s every chance he’ll return when his rugby contract expires. He will only turn 24 in 2027 and could actually be in the middle of his prime if he wants to return to rugby league in the 2030s.

If he trades, the young savage will likely play for the Waratahs.

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