Teen sensation Joseph Suaalii is reportedly set to receive an exemption allowing him to feature in the NRL before he turns 18, on the back of a sensational debut in a reserve-grade trial match on Saturday.
Under NRL rules, players must receive an exemption from the ARL Commission in order to feature in first-grade while under 18 years old – with Suaalii’s 18th birthday not until August.
But The Daily Telegraph writes that the Sydney Roosters talent, widely touted as a future superstar, is “highly likely” to receive approval.
Per a Telegraph source, the Roosters’ submission to the ARLC around Suaalii was “compelling” – as was his performance on Saturday.
Suaalii scored two tries and made a try-saving tackle in a barnstorming debut for Roosters’ feeder team North Sydney Bears against Canberra Raiders reserves in a NSW Cup trial at Queanbeyan.
While he left the field early with cramp, he undoubtedly showed he is physically ready for the demands of the top flight.
The Telegraph writes the NRL may hand down their verdict ahead of Round 1 – or perhaps soon after.