The Sydney Roosters have won the race to sign hot property Sisa Waqa, a player apparently with the abilities of both Greg Inglis and Israel Folau all in a single package. Certainly massive wraps for any youngster, so even if half of it rings true – the Roosters could potentially have a star in their ranks.
A former Union junior, Waqa took the Shute Shield by storm in 2008, touching down for 26 tries in only 18 appearances for Gordon.
With a $150,000 carrot dangled in front of him by the Roosters – Waqa has walked away from Union, the winger ready to make his name in the NRL.
Even his former Gordon coach Lachlan Fear said Waqa could be a huge ‘sensation’ in the NRL – the Roosters now getting the ideal replacement for the speed they lost with Amos Roberts.
Only 21, Waqa has potentially got an ‘open slate’ in terms of making the switch and adapting to the NRL much easier at such a young age.
“He has the physical attributes to destroy rugby league,” former coach Fear also said.
“Sisa Waqa is a ready made combination of Greg Inglis and Israel Folau. He has power, footwork and speed. He has the shape of Inglis and the ability to run through people like Folau.
“He is naturally strong and very disciplined. He is a professional sportsman.”
Showing no signs of bitterness, old coach Fear said he was happy for Waqa and his new future in rugby league.
“Sisa will leave a big hole for us – one that will be difficult to fill,” he said.
“He is a superstar in the making. It just depends how long it takes for him to adapt to league.
“But we are happy to be able to help him further his career. We have been the catalyst for him to earn a contract we can’t match.”
Waqa now faces the task of cementing a spot in the Sydney Roosters top 25 squad of players, the new signing already taking the training paddock with the tri-colours.
“It will be a big challenge for me, changing codes,” he said.
“The hardest part will be adapting to the environment and the training. League is a bit tough and hard, especially at NRL level.
“There will be a lot of competition but by working hard in the pre-season, I’m ready to prove I can make it with the Roosters and play first grade.”
Waqa has had experience already at Fijian schoolboy level, under-19s, under-21s and Fiji A and remains an excitement prospect says new Roosters chief executive Steve Noyce.
“He is an exciting outside back,” Noyce said.
“Recruitment guru Peter O’Sullivan got wind of Waqa through a rugby contact and then requested some vision of Sisa.
“He was then invited to train with us. He was impressive to the extent where we signed him and he is now part of our club.”