NRL champ’s shock Wallabies call-up

Suliasi Vunivalu has reportedly been rushed into the Wallabies squad two weeks after winning the NRL Grand Final with the Melbourne Storm.

In December 2019, Vunivalu signed a $1.2 million, two-year deal with Rugby Australia and the Queensland Reds, which was set to commence in the 2021 season.

But according to The Daily Telegraph’s Jamie Pandaram, RA have already began priming the 24-year-old for the 15-a-side code.

The report said Vunivalu was spotted walking out of RA headquarters in Moore Park after a training session. He is expected to travel with the Wallabies squad to the Hunter Valley on Wednesday.

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After snaring an unlikely two-point victory over the All Blacks on the weekend, Australia will next face the Argentina Pumas in Newcastle on Saturday, November 21.

But having not yet played a Super Rugby fixture, it seems extremely unlikely Vunivalu will make his Test debut this year.

Suliasi Vunivalu of the Storm.Source:Getty Images

Vunivalu played a starring role in Melbourne’s 26-20 triumph over the Penrith Panthers at ANZ Stadium, scoring an intercept try in the 30th minute.

Queensland coach Brad Thorn said Vunivalu’s spectacular 80-metre effort was further proof recruiting the winger was a wise decision.

“He’s been doing that for a long time ­– he’s a pretty special player,” Thorn said.

“People want to see those tries and see these athletes at their best. It’s great to have him coming here … it’ll be great having him in a maroon jersey.

“There’s certainly some strike, excitement and entertainment out wide if our forwards can do the job.”

Vunivalu represented Melbourne for four seasons, scoring 86 tries in 111 games.

After winning his second NRL premiership with the Storm, Vunivalu conceded he was having “second thoughts” about the switch.

“I want to come back and finish off here some day,” Vunivalu said in late October.

“I’m still having second thoughts about (the move to rugby union) to be honest. I want to stay, but I’ve got to take that new challenge for myself.”

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