The Semi Trailer has trodden on a few toes.
Parramatta NRL star Semi Radradra’s decision to spurn his native Fiji to represent Australia has upset officials within the international rugby league community.
After making four appearances for the Bati, Radradra on Thursday informed powerbrokers of his decision to declare allegiance to the Kangaroos.
Despite being born in Suva, Radradra satisfies residency requirements after living in Australia since he was scouted by the Eels in 2012, thereby making him eligible to represent his adopted country.
Radradra could now in line to make his green and gold debut in next month’s Test against New Zealand.
However it’s understood the news has gone down like a lead balloon among developing and Pacific countries with officials worried it will set a precedent and damage the global game.
Kangaroos players can receive up to $50,000 a game while players for minnows such as Fiji earn very little.
Even Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga and captain Cameron Smith said they had hoped Radradra would maintain his allegiance to Fiji in an effort to boost the game in the Pacific.
Rugby League International Federation international development manager Tas Baitieri said Radradra’s decision would have a flow-on effect and had the potential to harm international league.
“There’s already a shortage of wingers and centres and they’ve taken him away from a country that needs him desperately,” Baitieri said.
“It makes it hard – they (Fiji) are trying to put together a team to play in the Pacific Test series on May 7 and Semi was obviously a cornerstone of that team and he’s been playing pretty good footy.
“Not to have him there is going to put a hole in the team’s morale as well as affecting how competitive they are.”