Suaalii denies NRL return plans as rumours heat up

Suaalii denies NRL return plans as rumours heat up

Joseph Suaalii insists he has made no plans to return to the NRL after his deal with Rugby Australia expires despite rumour reports that he could return to Roosters.

The 20-year-old NSW Blues rookie, who is set to make his State of Origin debut on Wednesday night, will part ways with the Roosters at the end of the season after signing a monster $5 million deal to make the switch to Union.

It has been widely reported that Suaalii has informed Roosters Chairman Nick Politis that he is eager to Bondi in 2027, but the youngster has put those rumours to bed.

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“I honestly have not said anything,” Suaalii told The Sydney Morning Herald.

“Nick says that all the time, which is good to hear that he wants me at the club. He is a good man and I respect everything that he has done for me and the club.

“I honestly have not looked that far ahead. I’m focused on playing for the Roosters and now for the Blues on Wednesday night.”

The deal with Rugby Australia will see Suaalii join forces with the Waratahs and Wallabies, where he will become the highest-paid footballer in the country.

Suaalii discounted the idea that his NSW Origin selection would convince him to backflip on his rugby deal and commit his future to the 13-man code.

Joseph-Aukuso Su'ali'i is tackled by  Raiders' halfback Kaeo Weekes.

Joseph-Aukuso Su’ali’i is tackled by Raiders’ halfback Kaeo Weekes. Getty

“I love rugby, too, and everyone knows I want to go there and live my dream,” he said.

Since making his NRL debut in the Tricolours in 2021, Suaalii has been subject to intense scrutiny due to his all-star talent.

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Despite constant criticism, the youngster says he has “found peace” with seeing his name at the top of the headlines and has “become a man” after discovering a new sense of maturity within his game.

“I feel like I’m in a place where I found peace with the media and everything around it,” Suaalii said.

“I’m focused on playing and, to be honest, family and friends’ opinions really matter to me. It was a stressful start to my career when I was young. You kind of don’t know how to handle it.

Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii of the Blues.

Joseph-Aukuso\u00a0Suaalii of the Blues. Getty

“I’ve obviously learnt a lot during that three-year period. I’m 20 now, I feel like I’m starting to grow into a man, so you adapt.

“I find different ways to handle things and I feel like I’ve found peace with it. And I’ve found peace with understanding that it’s just the media’s job to sell papers,” he continued.

“I feel like I’ve been in the public eye for a while. I think my first article was when I was maybe 13 or 14 and comparing me to Israel Folau.

“Back then it was fun to say you’re in the paper, but now you need to deal with it and accept it. I’ve learnt how to do it and that makes my life easier.”

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