‘I’m not doing this to have a crack at rugby’: Why Wallabies star couldn’t say no to Roosters

‘I’m not doing this to have a crack at rugby’: Why Wallabies star couldn’t say no to Roosters

The obvious name that gets linked with Nawaqanitawase’s move is that of Rooster Joseph Suaalii, who will move the other way to rugby in 2025 on a monster deal.

“I’ve seen our names are often mentioned together, but I’ve never met him and I’m sure he’s got a lot on his plate right now,” Nawaqanitawase said.


“Of course, if we ever got the chance to have a chat I’d like that given the link with the Roosters and rugby. I’ve obviously watched everything that he’s gone through.”

Politis didn’t hold back during the week when he described Nawaqanitawase as a “beautiful young man”.

“Did he say that?” Nawaqanitawase asked. “He’s the beautiful one – for the way he’s treated me in a short period of time, and the respect he’s given to me and my future. Dealing with him and dealing with Trent Robinson has been a pleasure.”

He was full of admiration for Robinson.

Joseph Suaalii and Trent Robinson.

Joseph Suaalii and Trent Robinson.Credit: Roosters, Peter Rae

“Well I look at what he did for the career of someone like Daniel Tupou,” Nawaqanitawase said. “He was in reserve grade at Parramatta, and now look at where he is with the Roosters. Same with James Tedesco when he came from the Tigers. He’s gone to a completely different level as a footballer under Trent Robinson and I hope that I can learn on and off the field from Trent.”

The Roosters should be grateful to Nawaqanitawase’s mates, too. He grew up playing for Leichhardt Wanderers in the Balmain juniors admiring Benji Marshall.

“Yeah, Benji was the man when I was growing up, but my mates were Roosters supporters and they made me crazy about the Roosters as a kid,” he said. “Obviously, I admired a number of their players, but I really watched the careers closely of Israel Folau and the way he played, and of Sonny Bill Williams obviously in the way he came back to the Roosters and made such a huge impact was an inspiration for me.”

Manly’s plan to avoid fear and loathing in Las Vegas

Manly’s head of security, Michael Malligan, is already investigating the pitfalls of Las Vegas and has reached out to his counterparts at the NFL’s Raiders for advice.

Manly are the only side basing themselves in Las Vegas for the duration of the NRL’s venture to Sin City, and Malligan is already well advanced with his plans to keep the Sea Eagles out of trouble.

Manly intend to spend 11 nights in Vegas and the plan is to desensitise the team to the obvious attractions and distractions.

“When we get there, we will have a night out, but it’s not going to be Mad Monday in Vegas by any stre

…. to be continued
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