Suaalii's re-signing a timely boost for Sydney Roosters
Thrilled teammates are tipping Joseph Suaalii to become a Sydney Roosters great after the teenage sensation's bargain-basement retention lifted spirits at Bondi Junction.
Suaalii has resisted big-money overtures from South Sydney and Wallabies coach Eddie Jones to recommit to the Roosters until the end of the 2024 NRL season.
It's believed he turned down multi-million dollar offers to return to rugby or to the Rabbitohs to remain at the Roosters for $750,000 next year.
"Such great news to hear," Roosters and Queensland State of Origin back-rower Nat Butcher said on Tuesday.
"He's such a great kid and great footballer and it's great that he's going to be staying at this club.
"I envision his future like a lot of other greats at our club, like Teddy (James Tedesco) and Joey Manu and I know he's on a similar path to them.
"So the ceiling for him is very high and I look forward to seeing him achieve what he's going to achieve."
The prodigious utility back's re-signing comes in the bitter aftermath to Sunday's shock season-opening loss to the Dolphins.
"That was a tough one," said playmaker Luke Keary.
"Wasn't ideal. It was obviously a big game for both clubs and to perform the way we did was disappointing.
"We were just beaten everywhere."
With the Roosters being many pundits' predicted premiers, Keary said the absence of key players including Manu was no excuse for the defeat to the NRL's debutants and his side deserved any flak flying their way.
"Obviously commentators around the game, that's their job to analyse what went wrong. That's fair and we'll do it inside here too," he said.
"We know we've got to be better and we've got to be better straight away this week."
While traditionally slow starters each season, veteran winger Daniel Tupou admitted the Roosters were largely at a loss to explain another sloppy round-one performance.
"Just, individually, cost us at crucial moments and there's a lot of lessons that we've got to take out of that game," Tupou said.
"We trained really well pre-season. We're slow starters but it's a long season and I feel like we'll get better as the season gets going, and one game at a time."
The Roosters host the Warriors at Allianz Stadium on Saturday and will have Manu back from his pre-season facial fracture.
Victor Radley is also a chance of playing after Sunday's concussion, but Matt Lodge is sidelined with his own facial fracture while Jared Waerea-Hargreaves' return from his back injury has also been put on ice for another week.
"Obviously you're going to miss them - Joey, Jared," Keary said.
"But every team's got people out. We've got to deal with it better."