Rugby Australia’s CEO Phil Waugh criticized Hamish McLennan for recruiting Joseph Suaalii from the NRL. The signing cost RA an estimated $4.8 million for three years. While some supported the decision, others questioned the price tag and urged RA to focus on developing their own talent. The move also puts pressure on the Waratahs to keep other rising stars in the game. Waugh emphasized the need for a fiscally responsible environment to retain talent and develop clear pathways for young athletes. He suggested that the pursuit of NRL players may no longer be necessary. Overall, the signing of Suaalii raises concerns about RA’s spending and talent retention strategies.

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