Tim Horan: It won’t be a disaster if rugby misses Joseph Suaalii because Jordan Petaia is a better prospect

It’s not the end of the world for rugby if Joseph Suaalii decides to sign with league because there’s still plenty of time for him to return to union but the challenge for our game is to show him what he’s missing.

Joseph still hasn’t made his decision yet and there’s going to be a lot of talk about whichever game he does choose, but he’s still so young that wherever he goes for the next couple of years may not be where he ends up.

The young player I’m more excited about watching right now is Jordan Petaia, who will be making his comeback for the Reds this weekend.

He’s our whiz kid that we’ve all been talking about for the last couple of years and he’s already demonstrated what he can do.

Watch every game of Super Rugby AU and Super Rugby Aotearoa Live & On-Demand on Kayo. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >

He went to the World Cup in Japan last year as a teenager and gave everyone a glimpse of his potential, scoring a try in his first appearance for the Wallabies and holding his own in a pressure-packed quarterfinal against England.

The key for him is to string some matches together, for a year or a year and half, because he’s had so many injury problems to deal with but he’s a real athlete and he’s only going to get better.

His return couldn‘t come at a better time for Australian rugby because Saturday’s match between the Reds and the Brumbies is like a Wallaby trial.

Rugby Australia has made 16-year-old Joseph Suaalii a target.Source:Supplied

From what I’ve seen so far, these two undefeated teams should provide up to 80 per cent of the Wallabies team this year so it’s a great chance for Dave Rennie to sit down and really look at the different match-ups.

It has all the ingredients of a mouth-watering clash but there’s a lot more at stake than just the competition points.


This match is really important for Australian rugby because both teams need to understand that they have a responsibility at the moment to really put on a cracking match.

We all know about the negotiations taking place between Australia and New Zealand about a possible trans-Tasman competition from next year so this is a chance for these teams to make a positive statement.

Jordan Petaia is an exciting prospect for the Wallabies. Picture: AFPSource:AFP

What we’ve been seeing in New Zealand every week is edge of the seat stuff. Every game over there has been entertainment plus because of the skill level and high pace of the way they’re playing.

In Australia, we’ve only been doing that in about every third match so it’s up to the Brumbies and the Reds to show how good Australian rugby is.

I know both teams want to win, but there’s really nothing to lose for both teams this weekend because this is a domestic comp, it’s not a Test match, so there’s not as much pressure.

Both teams have got the skills and players who are great strike weapons so I hope they go out and attack the way we know Australians teams can, by throwing caution to the wind and letting everyone know that we are a nation that can match it with New Zealand’s teams in a new Super competition.

Originally published asHoran: Missing out on Suaalii won’t be a disaster

Source: Read Full Article