Sydney Roosters’ shock raid for star Wallabies winger
November 15, 2023
The Roosters are striking back in the Sydney code wars and are all set to make Wallabies winger Mark Nawaqanitawase the latest rugby star to defect to the 13-man game just months after Rugby Australia snatched Joseph Suaalii in a huge coup.
Trent Robinson is meeting with Nawaqanitawase personally to sound out exactly what he wants from the move, but The Sporting Base understands the Roosters side of the talks are already quite eager to bring the breakout winger across.
Nawaqanitawase is still just 23 years old and has already played 45 games for the Waratahs, scoring 27 tries. He graduated to the Wallabies in 2022 and has since scored five tries in 11 Tests.
Robinson allegedly sees Nawaqanitawase as a future NRL fullback.
There’s also a chance the signing comes cheap for the Roosters; the Australian Rugby League Commission is preparing to discuss exemptions for any NRL clubs that lure rugby stars to the 13-man game.
The 23-year-old certainly has the star power to fit into the tricolours, instantly making an impact in the Australian green and gold. He was a starter during the Wallabies’ disastrous 2023 World Cup campaign and now could be seeking a way out of the sinking ship that has already seen Eddie Jones walk out the door.
The only question for the Roosters right now is where Nawaqanitawase would fit. They have already scored a massive signing in towering Knights wunderkind Dom Young, who is reporting for preseason soon. Daniel Tupou and Junior Pauga are also on the top 30 list, though Tupou is likely reaching the end of his playing career. Robinson will face a tricky few weeks of brainstorming to figure out where he wants to play each option as Sydney heads into the 2024 season.
Suaalii also has one season left to play on his Roosters deal before he joins rugby.