Teenage prodigy Joseph Suaalii has the rugby league world in his hands
Teenage prodigy Joseph Suaalii has the Australian rugby league world in his hands. At just seventeen years of age, Suaalii has drawn comparisons to some of the recent greats in rugby league Sonny Bill Williams, Israel Foloau, and Greg Inglis. The current Year 11 student at the King’s School in Paramatta has always been a talent for the game of rugby league, receiving special permission to join the 1st XV at just age 14. Little Athletics teaches the foundation skills of all sports and many former little athletes have gone on to international sporting careers including Mitchell Starc (Australian Cricketer) Jarryd Hayne (Rugby League) and Alanna
Kennedy (Australian Women’s Football).
Only five years ago, Joseph Suuallii won the U12 High Jump State Championship with Werrington Little Athletics Centre. As a Little Athlete, Joseph competed for four years being awarded the Werrington Little Athletics Centre Athlete of the year in 2015. Joseph also still holds centre records at his former Little Athletics centre.
At just seventeen years old, Suaalii has had a stellar junior career in both codes.
Joseph has been named the Harold Mathews Cup Player of the year, represented South Sydney in the S.G. Cup, and played in the Australian School Boys & U18’s teams, which defeated their rival New Zealand team.
The South Sydney club was so impressed by Suaalii’s talents that the club
reportedly offered the richest deal for a junior in national rugby league history, a full year before he could take the field for the first-grade team. The Rabbitohs are petitioning the NRL to allow Suaalii to play before his eighteenth birthday, changing the age limit to a case by case basis. 22-year-old rugby league star Nathan Cleary believes, “If you are good enough to play, it doesn’t matter how old you are.” If the rule change is allowed and Suaalii takes the field as a Rabbitoh, he will be just over half the age of his teammate Bryan Goodwin.
Rugby Australia and the NSW Waratahs have also reportedly offered Suaalii the opportunity to continue playing rugby union in the Super Rugby competition with the potential opportunity to play for the Wallabies and represent Australia at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.