NRL: Fox Sports reporter James Hooper says there is a possibility James Tedesco could replace Matt Moylan at fullback for Origin III.
SEMI Radradra stands to collect $35,000 a week tax free if he switches to rugby union.
The Daily Telegraph can reveal that French club Bordeaux have tabled the Parramatta winger a huge deal which would dwarf his reported NRL salary of $375,000.
A major reason Radradra will earn far more money in France is that his income will be taxed at 8 per cent, whereas in Australia he is taxed at the top bracket of 46 per cent.
It means that for one year in France, Radradra can earn a total of $463,860, and clear $426,752 after tax.
He would need to become one of the highest-paid players in the NRL to earn the same kind of money.
It can be revealed that Bordeaux offered the same deal to three wingers — one of who was Radradra — earlier this year. But the other two players have taken deals elsewhere, leaving Radradra as Bordeaux’s prime target.
A source connected to Bordeaux said the club would even be willing to wait for Radradra to see out the rest of the NRL season with the Eels before taking him on.
And Fiji’s coach, John McKee, says he would have no problem fast-tracking Radradra into the national team should he switch to union, with a view to using him at the 2019 World Cup.
“If he is playing XVs he would certainly be high on our radar,” McKee told The Daily Telegraph from Suva.
NOT YET: B-Moz doesn’t want to play Origin
NEXT: Will Radradra return?
“As a rugby league winger, the skills can transfer quite well into XVs, but the thing with Semi is that he comes from a rugby union background, he grew up playing the game.
“I think he would adapt much quicker to other league players who have made the switch, and he would add to the strength of the Flying Fijians.
“If you look at the age profile across our backs, with a view to 2019, there will be a lot of competition for back three spots.
“I would not put a time frame on selecting Semi, my policy is to pick the best players I can on form, so if he makes the switch and is playing well he would be considered.”
Radradra, 24, is contracted to Parramatta until the end of 2017.
But amid his sudden departure to Fiji last week, there have been mixed messages around his return to Sydney and links to France.
Even if the Eels significantly increased their offer to Radradra — a former Fiji Sevens representative — they could not match Bordeaux’s offer and stay under the salary cap. Parramatta is set to be docked 12 competition points later this week for breaching this year’s salary cap.
To earn the same amount in tax-free income in Australia as that of his Bordeaux offer, Radradra would need to be on an annual contract of $700,000, which would make him the highest-paid NRL winger in history.
Adding appeal to a move overseas, there is a large Fijian community in Bordeaux.
The club has had a long history of recruiting players from the island, so Radradra is likely to have friends living in the famous wine region already.