Joseph Suaalii makes call on rugby union backflip in light of State of Origin development

Suaalii says Origin selection hasn't convinced him to backflip on his move to rugby.

Roosters star Joseph Suaalii has rubbished suggestions that a Blues call-up could see him stay in the NRL, saying he hasn't had any second thoughts about code-hopping at the end of the year. Addressing his looming switch to rugby union for the first time since last year's announcement, Sualii insisted he is fully committed to joining the NSW Waratahs in 2025.

Maguire had no qualms about picking the 20-year-old for the Blues this year and many fans believed it could tempt Suaalii to remain in rugby league. But the NSW centre remains determined to make a successful transition to the 15-man code as he strives to emulate cross-code superstars Israel Folau and Sonny Bill Williams.

Pictured Joseph Suaalii
Joseph Suaalii says Origin selection hasn't convinced him to backflip on his move to rugby. Image: Getty

Speaking on his move to rugby, Suaalii says his main goal is to prove to himself and the sporting world that he isn't a "one-trick pony" and says he is eager to try his hand at any sport that is both enticing and challenging. "I've signed my deal there. I'm committed," Suaalii said.

"I'm always up for a challenge and I always love learning different things - I don't want to be a one-trick pony. I want to learn different things and elevate my game to a point where when I finish my career I can sit down and say I gave it all."

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 09:  Joseph Suaalii of the Roosters scores a try, which was then disallowed by the video bunk during the NRL Elimination Final match between Cronulla Sharks and Sydney Roosters at PointsBet Stadium on September 09, 2023 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
Joseph Suaalii will leave the Roosters at the end of the season to pursue a rugby career.

Despite being unwavering on his decision to leave rugby league, Suaalii says representing his state and country is something he has dreamed of since he was a kid. And the Roosters livewire says he is honoured to be selected for the Blues and is excited to make his debut next Wednesday.


"I'm very driven. Ever since I was 12 or 13 I've always known what I want, and I know what it takes to get there," Suaalii said. "I always knew I wanted to debut (in the NRL) when I was 17. I wanted to play Origin one day in the Blues jumper. And I wanted to do a lot of things that the likes of Sonny Bill (Williams), and Israel Folau - the guys I looked up to as a young kid (did). It's always been a dream of mine to travel the world and play the home World Cup for the Wallabies, and the Lions tour."

Whether Suaalii's path follows in the footsteps of Williams in returning to rugby league after a stint in the 15-man code remains to be seen, although it is widely expected that he will return to the Roosters after the 2027 World Cup in Australia - the same time his rugby deal comes to an end.

"I do a lot of things with vision boards and stuff like that, but I haven't looked that far (ahead)," Suaalii said. "I can understand there are always opinions. (But) I've always loved both games. Anything with a footy in my hand I love playing."

with AAP