State of Origin; Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii has blacked out the critics

There aren’t many 20-year-olds who boast the same levels of maturity as Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii, which explains why the Roosters star was able to handle the intense media scrutiny over whether he should have been picked to make his debut in State of Origin. as he will be going to play rugby in 2025.

Suaalii will join the 15-man squad in a multi-million pound deal, but that hasn’t stopped Blues coach Michael Maguire naming him in the centers for next week’s opening match against the Maroons in Sydney.

The 196cm aerial threat has developed into one of the NRL’s strongest ball carriers but still had his doubters wondering whether he was fully committed to his status as he dreams of playing for the Wallabies too.

“I understand it because everyone has an opinion,” he said.

“I respect their opinion so I don’t sit here and have a go at them because there’s no point in me doing that. I just focus on my family, myself and playing football for the Roosters.

“People can have their opinions, but until I hear them from the real source like Madge or the coaches, those are the only people I listen to. You can read the media and the news, but you don’t really believe it until you hear it from the source.

The Roosters star appreciates the role the media played in promoting the game but was disappointed that he was portrayed in a way that made the public doubt his intentions.

“I know the media plays a big role in what people think and the perception they have,” he said, after garnering many negative headlines when he signed with Rugby last year.

“Stories end up on social media and kids read them, and then a lot of older people read newspapers and that’s the perception they have.

“I totally understand the role the media has, but sometimes it gets frustrating when people read newspapers and kids go on social media and see headlines that aren’t true.

“I stay true to myself, and as long as my family and best friends know how I feel and that it’s all true, that’s all that matters to me.”

Suaalii freely admits that throughout his journey there were doubts whether he would get to this point, but the man once touted as the game’s next big talent has lived up to expectations and will realize a dream of childhood next week.

“I put the shirt on and looked in the mirror, and you still pinch yourself,” he said.

“I was a four-year-old and now I can make a dream come true, so wearing the Blues shirt is special because I’ve worked so hard to get to this point.

“You really can’t put into words how you feel.

“I feel like when I hit 13 or 14 I knew I could play football and that was my gift that was given to me by the man above.

“Since then, I’ve been setting goals and manifesting things. One thing I’ve always wanted to do was wear a Blues shirt, so to be able to do that is really special.”

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