Rugby Australia signs Melbourne Storm’s Vunivalu
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Melbourne Storm winger Suliasi Vunivalu has signed with the Queensland Reds and Rugby Australia in a code-switch that could re-unite the flyer with his former teammate Marika Koroibete in the Wallabies squad in 2021.
Rugby Australia on Tuesday said Vunivalu will link up with the Reds ahead of the 2021 Super Rugby season after seeing out the remainder of his contract with the Storm in the National Rugby League.
He will be returning to rugby after a six-year stint in rugby league, where he starred for the Storm, and topped the competition’s try-scoring tally in 2016 and 2017.
RA’s director of rugby Scott Johnson said the 24-year-old Fijian-born flyer, who will follow in the path of another former Storm winger Koroibete, was a good acquisition for 15-a-side format.
“He is an elite finisher with a lot of big game experience for a young man and will have an immediate impact for the Reds in 2021 and put himself right in the frame for higher honors,” Johnson said.
As Vunivalu has lived in Australia since 2014, he will be eligible to play for the Wallabies in 2021 under World Rugby’s residency rules that go into effect next year.