Eddie Jones gets his way as League star joins Waratahs
TRANSFER NEWS: Australian rugby league star Joseph Suaalii will switch codes and be available to bolster the Wallabies when the British and Irish Lions tour in 2025, it was announced Saturday.
The sought-after 19-year-old is contracted to National Rugby League side Sydney Roosters until the end of the 2024 season.
But he will then join Super Rugby club NSW Waratahs in what is reportedly a multi-million dollar deal, following in the footsteps of fellow code-hoppers such as Israel Folau and Sonny Bill Williams.
“Welcome back to rugby [union], Joseph,” Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan said in a brief statement announcing the development.
McLennan added to the Sydney Morning Herald that it would be “electric to see him play for the Waratahs and wear Wallaby gold for Australia”.
Suaalii was a standout schoolboy rugby union player before electing to begin his professional career in the NRL, where he has set the game on fire.
He has signed a three-year deal with the Waratahs and Rugby Australia through to 2027 when Australia host the World Cup.
It will also make him available for the blockbuster British and Irish Lions tour in 2025.
“Joseph has been transparent with the club and we respect his decision,” said Sydney Roosters head coach Trent Robinson.
Suaalii said the Roosters had been “great to me and my family” and emphasised his commitment to them until his departure.
“There’s still a long way to go in my journey with the Roosters and my sole focus is on working hard every day to keep improving and performing my role for the team,” he added.