Vunivalu would be loss for NRL: Addo-Carr

Suliasi Vunivalu has scored 72 tries in 94 NRL games for Melbourne.
Suliasi Vunivalu has scored 72 tries in 94 NRL games for Melbourne.

Rugby league would be losing the best winger in the game if Suliasi Vunivalu switches codes to union, according to his Melbourne NRL teammate Josh Addo-Carr.

As the Wallabies pick up the pieces from their failed Rugby World Cup campaign, Vunivalu is reportedly a target for 2023 in France.

It is believed the Fijian flyer has been offered a deal that begins once his contract with the Storm ends at the end of the 2020 NRL season.

The report also suggests Melbourne would consider releasing Vunivalu early to free up some space in their salary cap.

There are also suggestions Japanese rugby could be another option.

Addo-Carr was surprised by the developments but said he would support his clubmate in whatever decision he chose to make.

"He hasn't said anything, (but) I know that he's happy at the club. You know what, at the end of the day, you've got to be happy," Addo-Carr told AAP.

"If he's happy going over to play union, my hat's off to him."

Addo-Carr has emerged as arguably the No.1 winger in the game after a stellar two years that includes a premiership and back-to-back State of Origin shields.

He was also one of Australia's best in their recent World Cup nines triumph and is set to make his Test debut with the Kangaroos in Wollongong on Friday.

However, Addo-Carr believes the 23-year-old Vunivalu is rugby league's pre-eminent winger, and even claimed his teammate was under-utilised at the Storm.

"He'd be a very big loss to rugby league," Addo-Carr said.

"In my opinion, he is the best winger in the game.

"You've just got to give him the opportunity to score some points, I don't think us as a team did that.

"He's big and strong and he does a lot of yardage carrying out. He's good at scoring points in the air, too."

Revelations of Rugby Australia's interest in Vunivalu comes the same week he and teammate Nelson Asofa-Solomona were involved in an off-field incident in Bali.

Asofa-Solomona was banned for three Test matches for New Zealand, while Vunivalu missed the World Cup nines for Fiji because of injury.

The Bati lost all three of their pool games and missed the semi-finals.

"It's a shame he didn't play (nines) because he's one of the best wingers to ever play the game, in my opinion," Addo-Carr said.

"You want to see the most talented players out there."

Australian Associated Press