Semi Radradra has revealed he will consider returning to Parramatta following his rugby stint, as the fate of another troubled three-quarter, Wests Tigers centre Tim Simona, remains unresolved for at least another week.
Simona was on Thursday granted an extension to respond to betting allegations against him, after making contact with the NRL.
Tigers coach Jason Taylor declined to comment on the Simona matter on the eve of the club’s round-one match against South Sydney at ANZ Stadium on Friday night.
Radradra’s long-term future is also clouded. The Eels winger, who will join French rugby outfit Toulon at the end of the season, is free to continue representing the blue-and-golds until there is a court verdict regarding domestic violence allegations levelled against him.
The one-time Kangaroos representative will have to wait until after the round-nine clash against the Cowboys to learn his fate.
Radradra will join former Dally M medallist Ben Barba at Toulon on a one-year deal, but is open to the prospect of returning to the Eels after that.
“It’s definitely a possibility for me, for sure. I might come back and play with this club again,” Radradra said.
“This club bring me over when I was in Fiji. Everything they have done for me is massive. They have done a lot for me. I want to finish on a high standard with the Eels.”
Australian coach Mal Meninga said Radradra’s court case, coupled with his decision to defect from rugby league, would preclude him from future selection.
“He’s eligible, but he’s still got personal issues,” Meninga said. “I’m of a firm belief that if he’s moving on to another code, while there are a couple of other selectors, in my mind he’s ruled himself out. I want to give a player committed to rugby league an opportunity.”
Radradra was controversially selected for Australia for one Test last year, despite his Fijian heritage.
The 24-year-old was also a member of the Meninga-coached Prime Minister’s XIII side, but was snubbed for the subsequent Four Nations tour due to the domestic violence allegations.
While Radradra questioned whether Kangaroos officials made the right call in banning him, he described his time in the green and gold as a career highlight.
“That is the business going out there – there are some good players out there,” said Radradra, who was curiously the only player not in team kit during Parramatta’s media session on Thursday.
“Playing for Australia is an honour for me, representing this country is a great honour. It’s the best memory for me as well.”
Radradra said he would like to play for Fiji in the Rugby League World Cup if his rugby commitments allowed it.
“I would love to because I can’t play for Australia now. I would like to play for Fiji,” he said. “I can’t play for Australia now because of my situation. That’s how it is.”
Radradra’s first priority will be marking fellow Fijian Akuila Uate, who is making his debut for Manly on Sunday.
“It’s very tough playing against him,” Radradra said.
Uate is looking forward to returning to first grade after spending the final months of his Newcastle stint in the NSW Cup.
“He’s been the best for the last two seasons, the best winger,” Uate said of Radradra. “You’ve got to stay with him all the time, because he’s everywhere on the field. He’s fast and strong, you’ve got to do a good job on him.”