Semi-trailer should be left in the Fijian garage

Man of the moment ... Semi Radradra celebrates with teammates. Photo: AAP Image.
Man of the moment ... Semi Radradra celebrates with teammates. Photo: AAP Image.

LIKE most rugby league fans, I love watching big Semi Radradra in action.

He is a genuine superstar of the NRL.

Few players can excite like the Semi-trailer in full flight, and it's not just Parramatta fans who love watching the flying Fijian smash his way to the try line, leaving a trail of destruction behind.

There isn't a more powerful or more damaging runner in rugby league in the world than big Semi.

So yes, he'd look awesome on the end of an Australian backline.

But for mine, he'd look even better and do far more for the game of rugby league in his native Fiji if he played Tests for the Bati, who've been toiling hard since being added to the international scene in 1992.

For the sake of growing the game internationally, I'd like to see Radradra in Fiji's national colours in the World Cup later this year.

It would do wonders for the people of the Pacific Island, who in the past have cheered their national heroes like Lote Tuqiri and Petero Civoniceva.

I'm not a big fan of the three-year residency rule by which Radradra could break into the Kangaroos team - I think it's a lure to any overseas player to turn his back on his country of birth to play for Australia, which already has a wealth of wonderful home-grown talent.

I know it's been done before, and under the current rules Radradra is free to nominate his country of choice, so he's just doing what the game's governing body allows.

But I'd like to see the three-year residency rule changed to five years like FIFA has in football.

Radradra has this week chosen to make himself available for Australia rather than Fiji, and in fairness he meets the criteria for Kangaroo selection having lived permanently in Australia for three years.

But let's face it, new Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga will not be short of worldclass players who could fill the wing spots when he and Australian selectors pick their squad for the end-of-year World Cup.

Young Brisbane giant Corey Oates, who could play Origin this year, exciting Cronulla prospect Valentine Holmes, bustling Panther Josh Mansour, Josh Dugan, grand final winner Alex Johnston, Darius Boyd and possibly even Kiwi-born Bulldog Curtis Rona are all players who could pull on the green and gold.

If the Rugby League International Federation (IRLF) which governs the game is serious, it should at least review its residency rule in the wake of the Radradra case which is detrimental to minnow nations becoming stronger.



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