Mininga has a big task on his hands ahead of this year’s World Cup, with a number of players choosing to represent their heritage nation as opposed to kangaroos.
Maroon cannon Josh Babali is said to be offering his trade to Samoa, joining Jarom Louie and Brian Too, while Phyllis Kaufusi, Scisiva Talakay, Daniel Topo and Kotoni Staggs Tonga are set to represent.
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But in a big push, the kangaroo is set to choose the 19-year-old Tricolors for the Australian team – if he chooses to represent his country of birth.
Suaalii is currently in his first full season of A-grade and has been included in the Brad Fittler’s Blues team, scoring 13 NRL attempts to date.
“I really like Joseph, he’s right in the picture, especially if the Roosters go on to make it to the finals,” Mininga told SMH.
“He’s a real choice for sure. He’s just a talent. He’s always been a talent. I love his bravery.”
“I remember that ‘Izzy’ (Israel Folau) came at a young age, and so did ‘GI’ (Greg Inglis), so if you’re talking about age, there are no questions about Joseph’s handling of the international stage.”
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Mininga also referred to reports that Australia’s rival law was pursuing the small gun, revealing that it was “hardly a shocker” the Wallabies could make a play.
“I read reports that the Wallabies are looking at him, and that hardly comes as a shock. They won’t do their job if they don’t look at league players like him and want him to turn,” Mininga said.
“And we do the same. Because Joseph has played for the League before, he has made it inevitable. He is right in the mix for us.”
Josh Addo Carr and Nick Kotrich, the current wingers of the Kangaroos, in their last game of 2019.
With Cotric likely not showing up, and Addo-Carr being picked for selection on the edge, Sualii could find himself in green and gold.
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Sawali made his intentions clear earlier in the week, stating that he wanted to compete in the year-end show.
“Honestly, I didn’t think about it much, but I want to play in the World Cup,” Sawali said.
“I’m trying to make that Australian team, and if I’m lucky enough, I’ll make that Samoa team too.
“If I am selected for one of them it will be an honor for me. If I play in the World Cup, I will be happy.”