Big money and the chance to play in a historic British and Irish Lions tour are reportedly the major factors that are swaying 19-year-old rugby league star Joseph Sua’ali’i into a code switch that could see him land in a Wallaby jersey by 2025.

Eddie Jones’ desires to convert some of the NRL’s finest to rugby union are a step closer to reality this week with multiple sources claiming Suaalii is on the verge of signing a $1.6 million contract from 2025.

Nine News’ Danny Weilder tweeted Friday revealing that his contacts within Rugby Australia claimed a deal was “close” to being done, with a “last minute play” from Sydney Roosters chair Nick Politis the only potential roadblock.

Weilder reported there was optimism within the Roosters’ camp when he spoke to them on Thursday night, however fellow rugby league reporter Andrew Webster had said on Wednesday that the mood in the Roosters camp was that Sua’ali’i’s move was as good as done.

“I got a call from our chief rugby reporter Georgina Robinson, and she said that there has been talk everywhere of a deal being all but done from 25’ onwards for Joseph Sua’ali’i to go to the Wallabies,” Webster told SEN 1170’s ‘The Run Home’.

“That’s when the British and Irish Lions will be out here, and they’ve obviously got the World Cup here in Australia in 2027.

“I have to say when I spoke to the Roosters to follow up… there was a bit of sort of quiet resignation that it may be the case.

“Nothing has been said to them about it, they’re dealing with Isaac Moses (Sua’ali’i’s agent) who is a very tricky manager to deal with.

“There’s just sort of a sense that it may be the case, I don’t know if it’s necessarily the right thing for Sua’ali’i.”

A home World Cup in 2027 as well as a home Olympics in 2028 are also thought to be enticing prospects for the young competitor who played both the 15-a-side game and Sevens throughout high school. Fullback was his position of choice at that time and if that were still the case then it could align perfectly with an area of contention in Eddie Jones’ side.

2023-03-24T04:50:12Z dg43tfdfdgfd