Former Wallabies star calls Brandon Smith a 'fool' for his comments about Joseph Suaalii
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Sydney Roosters star Brandon Smith certainly hasn’t endeared himself to the rugby union world.
The NRL player ruffled a few feathers when addressing his teammate Joseph Suaalii’s defection to the Wallabies for a whopping $1.6 million a season.
The ‘Cheese’ wasn’t pulling any punches when asked about his thoughts on the move, claiming that a ‘$1.6 million winger from the Roosters isn’t going to help beat the All Black’.
Among other things, Smith claimed the money could’ve been spent better on grassroots rugby union, and that he believed Suaalii would be back in the NRL come the end of his three-year contract.
Some former Union stars weren’t happy with Smit’s comments, with former Wallaby, Morgan Turinui disagreeing with the sentiment.
He also had a few digs of his own to fire the Rooster player’s way.
He told Stan Sport’s Between Two Posts: “Brandon Smith opens his mouth and confirms what we've always thought of him.
"The old saying, attributed to the Lincolns and Mark Twains, 'if you're a fool and you keep your mouth shut, you're probably better off than opening your mouth and confirming to everyone that you are.'
“Like, let's be frank - Jason Robinson wins a World Cup with England, league convert, Lote Tuqiri is outstanding, league convert, Dell (Wendell Sailor) does well, (Mat) Rogers does well, league converts have done well.
"They've been successful against the All Blacks or whoever it is. Joseph Suaalii is a fine footballer who will make the Wallabies better. "
"It's just a cool thing to do to bag Rugby." 😡 The crew aren't taking some of the recent comments from the League community.— Stan Sport Rugby (@StanSportRugby) March 28, 2023
↳ Stream Between Two Posts on Stan & Stan Sport. New episode every Monday 7pm AEDT.#StanSportAU #BetweenTwoPosts @seanny202 @MorganTurinui pic.twitter.com/2N54Dn8Dt9
Turinui also argued that Suaalii’s ability was well worth the money spent and that it would help lift the profile of rugby.
He continued: "I don't think it's as simple as 'let's steal this money off the kids and put it over there.'
“We're not saying Brandon Smith's $600,000 contract is taking money off the Paddo colts. So why is it different in rugby?"
Meanwhile, another former Australian representative, Stephen Hoiles, agreed that the swipes from league were unnecessary.
He said: “The league attack on union from the players, it always irritates me as a boy who grew up playing both.
"Like we sit here, we love our league. We watch it, we talk about it, when Australia play rugby league, I support the Kangaroos.
"I don't think league guys are the same. I think they really dislike rugby. I don't know why... it just seems like it's the cool thing to do to bag rugby. I found that a bit ordinary."