Staggering $2 million twist as Roosters pull off Joseph Suaalii coup

Joseph Suaalii has reportedly told the Roosters he is staying.

The hottest talent in rugby league, Suaalii has for months been weighing up rich contract offers with reports the Rabbitohs and a potential code hop to play for the Wallabies were very real options on the table.

However, it emerged Monday, the star winger has agreed to activate a clause in his contract that will see him play with the Roosters through to the end of the 2024 season.

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The one-year extension means Suaalii will again be a free agent at the end of the year.

His decision is a bitter blow for the Rabbitohs and Rugby Australia with both parties reportedly putting massive contract offers on the table.

The Daily Telegraph first reported Suaalii agreed to a one-year, $750,000 deal — an offer worth just a fraction of what was tabled by Rugby Australia and South Sydney.

Channel 9’s Danny Weidler reported the offer from the Rabbitohs was worth $2 million more than what the Roosters had offered. The three-year offer is reported to have been worth $2.9 million

The Rabbitohs had reportedly been chasing Suaalii as a potential replacement for superstar Latrell Mitchell before the fullback signed with the Bunnies through to the end of the 2027 season.

The offer from Rugby Australia is reported to have been worth much more.

It was reported last year Rugby Australia was prepared to offer Suaalii a monster five-year deal worth up to $10 million.

The short-term extension with the Roosters means Suaalii remains on Rugby Australia’s radar heading into the 2027 World Cup.

The Roosters have been on a spending spree in 2023 with the club already snaring Newcastle winger Dominic Young and Panthers forward Spencer Leniu.

According to reports, the Roosters last week approached the NRL for salary cap relief after star forward Angus Crichton revealed he was receiving treatment at a facility after announcing he has a bipolar disorder.