A Sydney high-school student has agreed to sign the richest contract ever offered to a teenager in the NRL.
Foxsports.com.au first reported boom Rabbitohs prodigy Joseph Suaalii will sign a multi-year deal with the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
The deal is reported to be worth $1.7 million and is the richest deal offered to a teenager in the NRL or in Australian rugby.
It took such a whopping deal to lock the teen freak into a career in the NRL after Wallabies coach Dave Rennie and Waratahs stars also pursued the talent’s signature.
The report outlines the contract cannot be registered by the NRL until Suaalii turns 17 on August 1.
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According to the report, the Bunnies plan to catapult Suaalii straight into their NRL side from August 1, 2021, when he is able to make his NRL debut.
The Daily Telegraph reported earlier this month Suaalii was considering a four-year $2 million offer from the Bunnies
The cross-code phenom has already represented New South Wales in rugby league, rugby union, AFL and basketball.
Suaalii was playing for the Kings School’s first XV side at 14 years of age. He also represented the New South Wales Schoolboys Sevens and Australian under 18s Sevens teams before his 16th birthday.
South Sydney’s Joseph Suaalii for SG BallSource:Supplied
Rennie reportedly offered the 197cm giant a three-year contract with the New South Wales Waratahs when he turned 18.
Rabbitohs CEO Blake Solly said recently: “He’s not just a very good player; he’s a great kid from a beautiful family,” Solly said.
“He’s just the sort of young person you want at your club.”
Rabbitohs General Manager of Football Shane Richardson touted Suaalii as a future star in February 2019.
“Joseph has the body shape and skill levels that extend well beyond his years, but most importantly, he has a desire to achieve everything he can in Rugby League through hard work and persistence,” Richardson said.
“It’s exciting to see young talent like Joseph in the red and green, showing the Rabbitohs are the club of choice for young talent in our game and young players from other codes, and I’m sure our members will also enjoy watching them progress through the years.”
Former South Sydney star Craig Wing is adamant Suaalii will live up to expectations, and described him as a combination of Sonny Bill Williams and Greg Inglis.
“The thing that really stands out with Joseph is he’s got the physique of a 19-year-old already,” Wing toldfoxsports.com.au in February.
Joseph Suaalii with Wayne Bennett and John Sutton after signing with South SydneySource:Supplied
“When he moves he’s really well balanced, he’s got a great running technique and he glides across the ground.
“If I was to sum him up I would say he’s like a combination of Sonny Bill Williams and Greg Inglis, if you put those two together.
“He’s got great ball skills, really tough, good in the air, awesome off-load — he’s got everything.
“He’s definitely going to be a star of the future. The thing that really impresses me the most is he’s selfless.
“He works as hard as anyone then he’s carrying the water around for everyone during a break. He’s very, very driven. He’s a leader.
“The feedback I’ve heard out of Souths is he’s like the Terminator.
“When I was playing I didn’t see any kids as talented as Joseph is.
“All the hype is not undeserved. I do think he’ll live up to expectations.”
Rabbitohs great Sam Burgess also praised Suaalii’s courage while training alongside the first-grade squad during the recent off-season.
“In the pre-season we tested him out with a bit of physical stuff and he responded,” Burgess said.
“He was ripping in with all the contact drills with the big boys. He’s got courage you don’t normally see in kids until they grow up.”
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