There are rumours that Joseph Suaalii‘s hefty $5 million contract with Rugby Australia may be at risk of termination. The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that cold feet are apparently setting in among the rugby execs who presented the lucrative deal; not long after the news that the Roosters had verbally agreed to take him back once his terms terminate.
The contract’s viability is further tangled by uncertainties surrounding where the funds for his $1.5 mil-a-season income are being sourced from. Allegedly, a faction was conceived by Rugby Australia back in 2015, aptly named the Rugby Foundation, with the mission to financially support community and high-performance projects. That faction is said to be shouldering part of the deal.
However, the counterpart funds could be linked to the value of the subsequent broadcasting agreement for the 15-man code.
In further insult to Rugby Australia, Roosters chair Nick Politis declared that, post Suaalii’s three-year stint in union, the 15-man game player would be returning to the Tricolours in 2028. In an interview with Channel 9, Politis said “It’s sad that we’ve lost him to union, but he tells us he’s coming back in 2028,”
Politis and the Roosters were reportedly displeased about how Suaalii and his agent, Isaac Moses, haggled his rugby contract. Regardless, after a candid conversation between Suaalii and Trent Robinson, the seasoned coach, the club has seemingly done a volte-face on their attitude toward the young star.
The narrative goes that the Roosters lost trust in Suaalii, whereas Robinson stood by him. The result of their sincere chat, which was reportedly teeming with emotions, was Suaalii turning over a new leaf.
Sources say that Suaalii admitted to remorse over how everything happened, with Robinson adding that he would never have kicked him out of the team prematurely. Suaalii has seen a resurgence in his performance ever since, culminating in the Roosters sprinting to the finals following a solid end to their season.