Vunivalu chasing 2023 Rugby World Cup goal

Having made his long-awaited return for the Queensland Reds, Suliasi Vunivalu is about to show his again on massive {dollars} from NRL growth membership the Dolphins to chase a Wallabies World Cup berth.

The star winger spent almost a yr on the sidelines, requiring two rounds of hamstring surgical procedure, however was a part of Queensland’s four-point win over Melbourne of their Tremendous Rugby Pacific conflict at AAMI Park on Friday night time.

Managing 50 minutes, Vunivalu confirmed off his expertise within the first half with a deft backhanded flick move to ship Reds teammate Hunter Paisami down the sideline.

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After being restricted to simply seven video games in two seasons, Vunivalu was joyful simply to get some injury-free minutes on the bottom the place he loved a lot success with the Storm.

“It was a bit emotional,” he informed AAP.

“It has been a protracted and irritating course of so it was good to be again taking part in once more.

“That is the place I performed so many video games so I used to be excited to get again residence.”

Regardless of his ardour for rugby league, along with his former Melbourne Storm teammates Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Christian Welch and Tui Kamikamica within the AAMI Park stands, Vunivalu mentioned subsequent yr’s Rugby World Cup in France was nonetheless the aim.

Off-contract on the Reds, he has been linked to Wayne Bennett’s Dolphins who enter the NRL subsequent yr.

“Sure, I would like to play within the World Cup,” Vunivalu mentioned.

“That is my final yr on my contract so I am simply making an attempt to deal with taking part in good footy.

“There’s been rumours round (about league) – I am undecided if my supervisor’s not telling me something – however I am simply making an attempt to get again to taking part in once more and let my footy do the speaking.”

With a three-Take a look at collection in opposition to England in July, Vunivalu has been included in a few Wallabies camps however as a consequence of harm has by no means been in a position to push for choice.

Whereas his league roots run deep, his Queensland teammates and coach Brad Thorn additionally confirmed their love for the 26-year-old.

Put up-match, James O’Connor described Vunivalu as a “weapon”.

Thorn was delighted to see his recruit lastly get into some motion.

“He is only a actually pretty man,” Thorn mentioned of Vunivalu.

“The directive for the sport was simply exit and luxuriate in your rugby – I did not ask to see something however for him take pleasure in it and he did that so we are going to go from right here.”

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