Suliasi Vunivalu

Wallabies squad has six uncapped players for Test series

Captain Michael Hooper leads the expanded 35-man squad but experienced utility back Reece Hodge misses out.

Playmaker Kurtley Beale, back in the international picture after returning to Australia following a spell in France, is injured and also misses out.

The series begins in Perth on 2 July.

Winger Vunivala switched to Queensland Reds in 2019 following a successful league career with Melbourne Storm.

"We picked him because of his massive potential," Wallabies coach Dave Rennie said.

Vunivalu shuts down rumours: 'I'm not sure if my manager's not telling me anything'

The star winger spent nearly a year on the sidelines, requiring two rounds of hamstring surgery, but was part of Queensland’s four-point win over Melbourne in their Super Rugby Pacific clash at AAMI Park on Friday night.

Managing 50 minutes, Vunivalu showed off his skills in the first half with a deft backhanded flick pass to send Reds teammate Hunter Paisami down the sideline.

After being restricted to just seven games in two seasons, Vunivalu was happy just to get some injury-free minutes on the ground where he enjoyed so much success with the Storm.

Disruption for Wallabies as code convert Suliasi Vunivalu unavailable for mid-year tests

Vunivalu hobbled off the field in Queensland’s 31-24 Super Rugby Trans-Tasman loss to the Blues last weekend and Wallabies coach Dave Rennie says the injury is significant enough to rule him out of the three-Test series against the French next month.

“Obviously a reasonably serious hamstring injury,” Rennie told AAP.

“That’s going to see him miss the French series and we’ll know a little bit more detail beyond that but he certainly won’t be available for France.”

Cross-code Reds star Suliasi Vunivalu going to mediation over assault charge

The 25-year-old was charged with common assault over the incident on January 30.

He didn’t face Brisbane Magistrates Court on Monday when his case was mentioned for the second time.

But his lawyer Jonathan Ivanisevic said Vunivalu was about to be referred for justice mediation.

Now called adult restorative justice conferencing, the mediation process is a facilitated meeting between a person who caused harm and those most affected by it.

Coach Brad Thorn expecting star recruit 'to upskill very quickly' after impactful Super Rugby debut

The Reds’ big-ticket NRL recruit endured a rocky start at Ballymore, axed from last week’s opener after he was charged with common assault following an altercation with a hotel security guard.

The Melbourne Storm NRL premiership winger could only find a spot on the Reds’ bench for Friday’s second round against the Melbourne Rebels and he was kept waiting until the 64th minute for a slice of the action.

Ex-Melbourne Storm NRL winner Suliasi Vunivalu misses Super Rugby debut for Reds over pub incident

The champion NRL winger had arrived at Ballymore fresh off a premiership with the Melbourne Storm as Rugby Australia's big-ticket item.

But on Tuesday the winger copped a club-imposed A$10,000 (NZ$10,74) fine alongside suspension from Friday's season opener at Suncorp Stadium against the NSW Waratahs.

The matter is before the court and will be reviewed by RA and Queensland Rugby Union once it is resolved.

It is understood the security guard was not injured during the incident, which was considered minor and occurred earlier this month.

Smith excited by challenge of replacing Vunivalu

The former Bulldog is jostling to claim the wing position vacated by towering Fijian Suliasi Vunivalu, who has defected to rugby.

Vunivalu's incredible record of 86 tries from 111 games for the Storm, with whom he won the 2017 and 2020 titles, stands up in any era.

Smith, who played 49 games for Canterbury and is now competing for a spot with the likes of George Jennings and Isaac Lumelume, is aiming to step into Vunivalu's massive boots.

Storm facing potential fine as NRL seeks answers over Vunivalu stoppage

Vunivalu showed obvious discomfort in his left leg after a routine tackle in Saturday's 36-24 win over the Eels in the qualifying final at Suncorp Stadium.

But Storm trainer Matthew Barradeen ran onto the field as play continued and waved his arm to grab referee Ashley Klein's attention, well before he got to Vunivalu to assess him.

The Eels were on the attack up the other end of the field, but play was held up while the trainer stretched Vunivalu's limb.

Dave Rennie's phone call to Suliasi Vunivalu to keep him from staying in the NRL

The 24-year-old flyer last year signed a A$1.8m two-year deal with the Queensland Rugby Union and Rugby Australia that is due to commence in 2021.

However, the financial downfall that has come with the coronavirus pandemic has thrown that signing into a realm of uncertainty, leading Vunivalu to express some concern over his future.

“If my contract is still there then I’m happy to go on with it, but if not then we’ll see where we go from there,” he said last week.

Vunivalu set to talk to manager over Reds move

Star Melbourne winger Suliasi Vunivalu says he will seek reassurance about his contract ahead of his code switch to financially-stricken rugby union and try to remain with the Storm if it falls through.

Vunivalu is set to depart Melbourne at the end of the NRL season after signing a deal with Queensland Reds and Rugby Australia late last year he described as “too good to refuse”.

But since then Rugby Australia has fallen into a financial black hole, with a number of players looking to shift overseas as they seek some job security.