RUGBY LEAGUE: RADRADRA SNUBS
FIJI BATI – WILL REPRESENT AUST IN MAY TEST
Parramatta Eels powerhouse Semi Radradra has formally applied to become an Australian Kangaroo in a move that could pocket him a cool $AU160,000 ($ F255,000).
Radradra, 23, lodged official papers with the Rugby League International Federation on Thursday night. It would now seem certain Radradra- who has turned away from his native Fiji- will represent Australia in the May Test against New Zealand at Newcastle’s Hunter Stadium. And The Daily Telegraph can reveal just how much Radradra stands to earn in a successful Kangaroos side over the next 18 months. Radradra would receive $AU20,000 ($F31,000) if he played in the May Test and a further $20,000 ($F31,000 for another Test against New Zealand this October in Perth.
Later this year, Radradra could earn a whopping $AU50,000 (F$79,000) should Australia win the Four Nations tournament in England. That figure would though drop to $AUD 40,000 ($FJD 63,000) should Australia be runners-up or $AUD 30,000 ($FJ 47,000) if the Kangaroos miss the final. Next season, Radradra could pocket another $AU20,000 ($FJ31,000 with selection for the mid-season Test before the rugby league World Cup in Australia. Again, the Eels winger would earn $AU50,000 ($F79,000) should coach Mal Meninga’s team secure the prestigious World Cup. Provided Australia win both tournaments, and they will be favourites, Radradra could be paid $AU160,000 ($F225,000)— big
money on top of his lucrative Eels deal. There is a catch though. Should Radradra be overlooked for Australia, he could not then walk back and represent Fiji. If snubbed by the Roos, Radradra’s rep career would be completely stalled.
Fijian players get paid a pittance compared to the rock-stars Aussies. Radradra would still though, under international rugby league rules, be ineligible to represent Laurie Daley’s NSW side. Radradra’s application to be a Kangaroo is now expected to be rubber-stamped by officials in coming days. The incumbent Australian wingers are St George Illawarra’s Josh Dugan and South Sydney’s Alex Johnston. Radradra would be a favourite to win a place on the wing. And assisting Radradra’s cause is the fact Australia’s incumbent left centre is Michael Jennings, Radradra’s Parramatta teammate. Both play on the same side for the Eels.
Radradra will line-up for Parramatta in tomorrow’s match against rivals and neighbours Penrith at Pirtek Stadium. The giant winger was on fire against Canterbury a fortnight ago in a man of the match performance. Radradra has become a cult figure for Parramatta and may now enjoy the same status playing for his adopted Australia.