Rabbitohs reject Suaalii proposal for get-out clause in five-year deal

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South Sydney remain keen to retain Joseph Suaalii but have rejected the teenage prodigy’s demands for a new five-year deal that includes get-out clauses in his favour.

The saga that has been the cross-code battle for Suaalii’s signature took a fresh twist when the youngster’s handlers asked the Rabbitohs for a long-term contract – one from which Suaalii could extricate himself in seasons 2023-5 if he so chose.

If the proposal had been accepted, the Kings School product would have had a lever to return to the 15-man game while still enjoying the security of a lucrative NRL deal as a fallback.

The unusual proposal was a counter to Souths’ initial three-year contract extension, which would have made the precocious fullback one of the highest-paid teens in Australian sporting history.

Souths have knocked back Suaalii’s request and will now attempt to broker a new contract extension – the youngster is already signed to the Redfern-based club for 2021 – of three to four years.

It continues a back and forth between the parties as the Australian Rugby Union tries to prise him from league’s grasp. Rugby is dangling the prospect of an Olympics berth via the Rugby Sevens, as well as a host of guarantees about national squad selection.

The Rabbitohs are still hopeful of landing a deal, but have also re-signed Alex Johnson despite fears he could be squeezed out due to salary cap constraints. Suaalii is expected to make his NRL debut for Souths on the wing next year and then challenge Latrell Mitchell for the right to wear the No.1 jersey long term.

Players and clubs are becoming more creative with contracts in a bid to get deals done. The Tigers have tabled an offer to Josh Addo-Carr that triggers bonus payments if he plays more than half his games at fullback. The unique offering ensures the Storm star gets the chance to earn ‘fullback money’ but protects the club if his positional switch doesn’t work.


SOURCE: https://www.w24news.com

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