NRL, The Mole news 2023, Roosters poach Joseph Suaalii Tavita Henare-Schuster clone of New Zealand rugby

The Roosters have signed a clone of Joseph Suaalii from New Zealand – and Kiwi Rugby Union officials are furious.

Tavita Henare-Schuster, an imposing 20-year-old outside the Hurricanes, was groomed for Super Rugby and the All Blacks across the divide.

But the Roosters attacked the youngster this week and handed him a developmental deal which could see him play in the NRL for the next 12 months.

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“The rugby union people had been developing Tavita over the past few years and knew they had something very special on their hands,” Henare-Schuster manager Pierre Tannous told Wide World of Sports. .

“But at the end of the day he wanted to try his hand at the league and when the Roosters called it was an easy decision.

“They played him in a pre-Christmas tryout and after 15 minutes they knocked him off the pitch.

“When I asked them why, they said, ‘We’ve seen enough – we want it’.”

Like Suaalii, Henare-Schuster is a strong running back who plays both back and wing, with good footwork and plenty of pace.


Great England signing John Bateman continues to be plagued with visa problems – but due to the wonders of modern technology, he hasn’t missed a single Wests Tigers training session.

Tigers coach Tim Sheens sends videos of all Tigers sessions to Bateman in the UK, so he can watch them while he waits for immigration officials to sort out the bureaucracy preventing him from attending go to Sydney.

Bateman signs long-term contract with Tigers

“I want him to see everything we’re doing so he can really kick off when he gets here hopefully in the next few weeks,” Sheens told Wide World of Sports.

“I will also send him our next two test matches so he can see the team in action and learn the moves we use.

“It’s been a bit of a hiccup with the visa issues but I’m not worried. He’s signed for four years so we’re both here for the long term.”


The Bulldogs’ rise to prominence continues, with the club signing one of Queensland’s most promising young forwards.

Duquan Talaepa is a 16-year-old striker from Mabel Park School near Brisbane.

The young, hard-working runner made an impression playing for Queensland in the National Under-15 Championships last year and Bulldogs scouts beat several clubs to get him to put his pen to paper.

He also shone in the Cyril Connell Cup playing for the Souths Magpies and will spend the next two years completing his education in Queensland, but will visit Bulldogs HQ regularly to check in with Phil Gould and the coaching staff.

Star Bulldogs signing admits to having ‘cold feet’


Alex Seyfarth gave up the opportunity of a lifetime – for his unborn child.

The lanky striker just finished his contract with the Tigers at the end of this year and is not sure if he will get a new contract.

Last week, the Warriors offered Seyfarth a lucrative three-year contract starting in 2024.

At 24, it was a great opportunity for Seyfarth, but he turned it down because his wife is pregnant and they want to stay close to family support in Sydney when the baby is born.

There are bigger things in life than football, and the Warriors understood Seyfarth’s decision.

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