Vunivalu: Finish My Contract First Before I Make My Move

Fijian-born Melbourne Storm winger Suliasi Vunivalu has vowed to serve the final year of his National Rugby League (NRL) deal with the club.

However, the Navave, Bua native has left the door open for a move to rugby in 2021.

Vunivalu recently played for the Vodafone Fijian Bati that beat Toa Samoa and the Papua New Guinea Kumuls to top Group B and claim the Oceania Shield last Saturday.

According to Wide World of Sports, the 23-year-old could be pulling on the green-and-gold of the Wallabies after reportedly being offered a multi-million dollar deal by Rugby Australia.

The development prompted suggestions of an early release from the Storm.

Vunivalu was reluctant to discuss the possibility of the switch but was clear on his intention to complete the remainder of his current deal with the club.

“It’s just media (talk). I have one more year at the Storm. My focus is on the Storm. Other than that, I got no more comments,” Vunivalu told AAP.

Vunivalu was involved in the Auckland Blues system when he moved to New Zealand at 16 years of age before Melbourne swooped in two years later.

And he has been a revelation for the club since making his debut in 2016, scoring 73 tries in 95 games for the club along with winning a premiership.

His rapid rise culminated in him being nominated for the Golden Boot award the following year, which was later won by Storm teammate Cameron Smith.

Pressed on whether he had met with Rugby Australia or had a desire to return to the 15-a-side game, Vunivalu said: “Like I said, I still have one more year at the Storm.

“What happens next year, I’ll make a call then.”

When approached yesterday Bati head coach Brandon Costin said that Vunivalu is not switching to rugby union.

He further indicated that Vunivalu has not shown any interest in rugby union after rumors and speculations went viral on social media.

“Suli did not mention anything about switching to rugby union when we were in camp for the Oceania Cup,” he told SUNsports

“Maika Sivo has recently re-signed with Parramatta Eels so they are both still going to stick with their professional clubs.

“Rugby union does this most of the time but we personally respect the player’s decisions if they want to switch because they got their family to support but all I know is that both players are still on contract with their clubs.

“Suli is happy to be with the Bati last weekend and enjoyed every bit of it.”

Costin said the focus now is to prepare the Kaiviti Silktails team for their debut season in the Ron Massey Cup, which is part of the competition for the NSW Cup.

“We will be heading to camp next week to prepare for the Ron Massey Cup. We’ll get all the local-based players together and prepare for the competition.

“It’s a new competition for us but I believe we’ll give good competition to the teams we will play against.”