Ahead of the Six Nations, we have teamed up with Keith Prowse, leaders in Twickenham Hospitality boxes, to bring you a list of the top five code switchers in rugby league and rugby union.
5. Lote Tuqiri
Winger Lote Tuqiri tasted success in rugby league either side of his stint as a rugby union player at both club and international level. He started his career at Brisbane Broncos and with the Queensland Maroons, while he also represented both Australia and Fiji national sides. He then switched codes, featuring 67 times for the Wallabies, enjoying spells in the Super 14 and in England with Leicester Tigers. He returned to league with Wests Tigers, before ending his career at South Sydney Rabbitohs with a Grand Final triumph in 2014. It was a fitting end to a cross-code star’s career.
4. Israel Falou
Israel Falou broke the record for most tries in a debut season when he broke onto the NRL scene at Melbourne Storm back in 2007. He also starred for Brisbane Broncos, the Australian national team and Queensland before converting to AFL. He then went on to become a star in the 15-a-side game, being named Wallabies’ Player of the Year a record three times, as he also equaled Lote Tuqiri’s record of 10 tries in a season for Australia cementing himself as a cross-code success.
3. Sonny Bill Williams
A true success in both codes, Sonny Bill Williams is one of only 20 players to have won two Rugby Union World Cups, and has also represented his country in rugby league. He started out with Canterbury Bulldogs, before his switch to Toulon began his career in the 15-a-side code. Williams did return to the NRL in time to take part in the 2013 rugby league World Cup and spent two seasons with Sydney Roosters but ultimately returned to union. The Kiwi is also a former heavyweight champion boxer with a 7-0 perfect record.
2. Jason Robinson
Playing over 300 times for Wigan Warriors, Jason Robinson secured his place as a rugby league legend before switching to union. He went on to pick up 51 caps international caps in the 15-a-side game, as he was part of the side which lifted the World Cup in a dramatic win over Australia in 2003. He was quick, agile and almost impossible to stop, and will be remembered by fans of both codes as one of the greatest players around.
1. Brad Thorn
A World Cup winner with New Zealand in 2011, five time Bledisloe Cup winner, three Tri-Nations titles to his name, two European Grand Slams, a Super Rugby title with Canterbury and the Heineken Cup with Leinster. Brad Thorn sits at the top of our list, after tasting success in the NRL and for the Australian Kangaroos before he became one of the most decorated rugby union stars of his time. He tasted great success in both codes and is a shining example of how both codes can be conquered.
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