So news is swirling of a move of Semi Radradra to Rugby Union. Just like last year.
The French Rugby team he has allegedly signed for have announced his arrival already, despite his manager’s denials..
Similar to last year, he is out of the country again in Fiji, which makes it very easy to avoid the media.
If the story turns out to be true, he joins a list or defectors headlined by Sonny Bill Williams. So the move isn’t a new one.
Like Sonny Bill and his mid season defection to French Rugby from the Bulldogs, Semi Radradra to Rugby Union is leaving his team in the lurch. And after Parramatta’s season in 2016, and standing by Semi with his off field troubles, the Eels are entitled to some loyalty.
But as least SBW had the semi plausible excuse of wanting to don an All Black jersey in addition to the cash. It is hard to see anything other than money as the motive for Semi Radradra to Rugby Union. I can’t recall a statement saying he wants to represent Fiji in Union. Hell, he was so desperate to play for Australia in League.
But his Kangaroos career was all about boosting his earning power rather than playing for his country.
His previous quit threat because he couldn’t play Origin looks the same too.
So if it is all about money, we say piss off and don’t come back.
We used to be huge Semi Radradra fans. Loving his style of rugby league, personality and surname when announced by excitable Fox Sports commentators. We even went as far to suggest ways he could make extra money after last year’s defection, or how we could turn the NRL Grand Final half time entertainment into the Semi Radradra show.
Hell, he even made our short list for Person of the Year in 2015.
Maybe it was our previous love for Semi that makes us look like and feel like a scorned ex partner. Maybe it is the fact that this is the second episode of Semi Radradra to Rugby Union. Maybe it’s because we don’t like rugby union in general. Throw in the Domestic Violence charges, which he failed to show up for in courts, and we have fallen out of love with Semi. A shame as he used to brighten up the Sunday afternoon broadcasts on Channel Nein. Once again, if it is true about Semi Radradra to Rugby Union, then catch you later.
One thing for players to note when using French rugby as the exit plan or threat to leave, the next superstar is just chomping at the bit to get their chance. Look at Bevan French. Given half a chance he lit up the field in the second half of the season. In 2017 he’ll be starting fullback. And there’s plenty more stories at plenty more clubs to come if their stars want to leave to play rugby.
If and when he goes and eventually gets homesick, and wants to return to the NRL, then a few things should be outlined.
One, he is never to play for Australia again. He’s got his cash.
Two, Parramatta should get first refusal given they are the club who he was with before leaving.
Finally, when he signs with an NRL club, he should be forced to spend no less than 12 weeks in that club’s equivalent NSW or QLD Cup team before being allowed to play an NRL game. This will truly test is their love is for playing rugby league again.
This should be applied to any league player who leaves mid contract to play union.
If he stays great, we’ll see him bustling through more tackles in 2017 with Warren Smith getting as excitable as ever.
Otherwise, Au Revior Semi.