Thursday, April 15, 2021

Roosters Joseph Suaalii says he’s ‘ready’ for NRL duties

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Rugby league’s hottest teenage prospect Joseph Suaalii says he’s ready for top-notch duties as the Sydney Roosters await the NRL’s decision on whether the young gun can make it to the field early.

Under current NRL rules, Suaalii is currently unable to make his freshman debut for the Roosters until he’s 18, which won’t be until August 1.

However, Suaalii got her first taste in the spotlight last Saturday, scoring two tries for the North Sydney Bears in a Canterbury Cup try against the Canberra Raiders.

Speaking for the first time since his debut, the young prodigy confirmed he was aware of the hype and expectations on his shoulders, but said he was focused on being the best person he was. it can be.

“I’m aware of the hype and everything around it, but I’m not really focusing on that,” he told Nine News Sydney.

“I’m just focusing on the game and just trying to be the best soccer player and the best person I can be.”

Before joining the Roosters, Suaalii, 17, had already been at the center of a bitter battle between rugby and the league, with several clubs from the NRL and Rugby Australia are scrambling to obtain the signing of the young star before South Sydney releases him to their great rival.

While still a student at King’s School, Suaalii revealed he still needed to focus on school commitments as he spent more time training with the Tricolors.

“Today I’m supposed to be in school,” he said.

“I go to school twice or once a week and then I’m here [Roosters HQ] for the rest of the days.

“I don’t think it’s weird [to be a full-time footballer and go to school], I just try to be a normal kid when I’m in school.

“When I am here [training], I also try to be a child, trying to learn as much as I can. Keep both sides of the spectrum. “

Despite reports suggesting Roosters will be granted age exemption for Suaalii to potentially line up in the first round, it is understood that there are a number of hurdles the teen has yet to overcome.

Nine Rugby League reporter Danny Weidler has revealed that NRL CEO Andrew Abdo will first need to meet with Suaalii’s high school principal to discuss his development.

It is understood that Abdo will then have to chat with Suaalii’s mentor at the Roosters, center star Joseph Manu, about how he is dealing with whatever is going on.

Weidler also revealed that the NRL will want to know how Suaalii will be treated “in an environment where alcohol and gambling exist.”

But when asked if he was ready for the big step, Suaalii didn’t back down.

“I feel ready but I know I have to take a lot of steps to get to this point,” said Suaalii.

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