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'Test match-winner': Suliasi Vunivalu recommits to Rugby Australia

By AAP
(Photo by Hanna Lassen/Getty Images)

Suliasi Vunivalu has recommitted to rugby union until the end of 2025, with Wallabies coach Eddie Jones saying the winger has the potential to be a Test match-winner.

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The former Melbourne Storm star, who has made one brief Wallabies appearance in a stuttering transition to the new code, has signed a contract extension with Rugby Australia and the Queensland Reds.

Battling injuries early in his rugby career, Vunivalu has slowly started to find his feet this season but faces fierce competition for a Wallabies berth in this year’s Rugby World Cup.

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Vunivalu made a three-minute appearance for Australia in last year’s Test against Jones’s England.
But the 27-year-old has a fan in Jones, who selected him in his first training camp squad in April.

“Suli has the potential to be a Test match-winner,” Jones said in a statement.

“I’m really pleased how he’s been progressing through Super Rugby and even happier that he’s committed his future to Queensland and the Wallabies.”

The Fijian-born winger scored 15 tries in his first 26 games for the Reds, debuting in the 15-player game in 2021 after a stellar NRL career that included two premierships.

He said he was enjoying playing rugby with the Reds.

“I’ve learned plenty with the Reds and Wallabies and know there’s a long way to go if I want to achieve my goals,” Vunivalu said.

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“We’ve got a great group of players and staff at Ballymore. I’m enjoying working alongside them every day.

“It’s an exciting year for the Wallabies with the World Cup. I’m doing everything I can to be a part of it after the Super Rugby season.”

 

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William 1 hours ago
All Blacks vs England takeaways: Richie Who? Time for Cortez

Correct analysis of Perofeta’s bungling of the try opportunity Ben. Never ‘fixed’ Steward as he came across in defence and passed too early. Steward didn’t have to break his stride and simply moved on to pressure Telea. Never scanned the easier option of passing to the two supporting players on the inside. Beauden Barrett showed how it is done when he put Telea in for his try. Another point from the game is that the rush defence is hard to maintain as the number of phases increases. From scrums the defensive line only contains backs who all have roughly the same pace. Once forwards are involved, the defence has players with variable speeds often leading to a jagged line. It also tends to lose pace overall giving the attack more time and space. Beauden Barrett’s break to set up Telea’s try came because Baxter went in to tackle McKenzie and Steward went out to cover Telea. Barrett has a massive hole to run through, then commits Steward by passing as late as possible and Telea scores untouched. Another comment I would make is that Ben Earl is a good player and generally an excellent defender but he made three significant misses in the series, two of which led to All Black tries. Got stepped by Perofeta in Dunedin for Savea’s try, missed McKenzie in Auckland leading to what should have been a certain try being set up by Perofeta and was one of the tacklers who couldn’t stop Savea in the leadup to Telea’s first try. Perhaps he should contact Owen Farrell to pick up a few tips from ‘tackle school’.

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