Sydney Roosters players have declared teen sensation Joseph Suaalii is ready to “kill it” on NRL debut should he receive the call-up if star fullback James Tedesco is ruled out through concussion.
Tedesco could miss Saturday’s clash against the Knights in Newcastle after he suffered a heavy head knock against St George Illawarra last weekend.
The high contact from Dragons winger Jordan Pereira left the Roosters fullback dazed and forced him from the field.
Tedesco failed his HIA – casting doubt over his immediate future given it’s his third concussion in 10 months.
If the Roosters captain is ruled out, it could open the door for Suaalii to make his first appearance on the NRL stage via fullback or even the wing.
Rookie halfback Sam Walker has seen first-hand how damaging Suaalii can be while playing reserve grade together at North Sydney.
Walker has no doubts that the 17-year-old Penrith product possesses the skills and smarts to star on the NRL stage.
“Joey has been training the house down,” Walker said about Suaalii, who has received an NRL exemption to play first grade before he turns 18 on August 1.
“I know if he got the call up, he would definitely be ready.
“The way he is training at the moment, I know he would kill it.”
Walker isn’t sure if Tedesco will take on the Knights on Saturday at McDonald Jones Stadium, but he revealed the Blues and Kangaroos No.1 was smiling at training on Monday.
“He looked in good spirits,” he said.
“Even after the game he looked really good.
“You are always concerned if someone in your team goes down injured like the way it happened, but that is football, and it could happen to anyone.
“We know the club will take the correct measures to make sure that he gets back on the field.”
The Roosters have suffered multiple concussions to their biggest stars in recent seasons, including co-captains Boyd Cordner and Jake Friend.
Half Luke Keary has also battled head knocks while Friend was recently forced to retire following repeated bouts of concussion.
Walker insists the Roosters aren’t cursed, but concedes heavy contact is a reality of professional rugby league.
“It’s weird, we’ve had a lot of our players get head knocks, but that is just the way that the game is played,” he said.
“You expect that there are going to be head knocks and injuries throughout the season.
“Obviously, the club is doing everything it can to monitor the situation.”