Plenty have tried and failed in making the switch between Rugby League and Rugby Union, with only a handful of players proving to be a success in both codes – Josh Charnley the most recent player to return to the English Super League following an indifferent spell in the 15-man game.
The switch is usually made from League to Union, partly due to the money involved in the latter, but history tells us that you have to be a special player to make it in both codes, no matter how impressive you are in one particular side of the game.
Jonathan Davies is amongst Welsh rugby’s most well-known ex-players, having famously excelled in both codes of rugby during his career. Likewise, Jason Robinson was another to leave a legacy in both League and Union, having won the Super League with Wigan Warriors, before later going on to win a Rugby Union World Cup with England in 2003.
Charnley is the latest player to make a hasty retreat back to where he is comfortable, with the former Wigan winger heading to Warrington Wolves from Sale Sharks, who he has immediately linked up with on a three-year contract. Sam Burgess is perhaps the most high-profile name to recently fail in Rugby Union, with the NRL’s adopted son returning to South Sydney following a role in England’s disastrous home World Cup of 2015.
📢Wire fans! There’s a new wolf in the pack… pic.twitter.com/7Br6607Zat
— Warrington Wolves (@wolvesrl) March 19, 2018
Denny Solomona, like Charnley, is another former Rugby League winger trying to make an impression in Rugby Union, with the Sale flyer giving the 15-man code an excellent shot and putting himself in contention for Eddie Jones’ England squad on a regular basis. The 24-year-old has been amongst the tries this season for Sale, but has been unable to put the Sharks into serious title contention, with the northern-based outfit finding themselves priced at 250/1 with William Hill to scoop a Premiership title.
Despite Sale’s struggles to challenge the top clubs in the Premiership, Solomona continues to impress and looks like he could potentially become a player that really takes the international stage by storm. Charnley was a try scorer, but he lacked the same edge that Solomona has in attack.
During his days with Castleford in Rugby League, Solomona was an incredible try scorer and prior to his Rugby Union switch, he was lighting up the English Super League with some incredible finishes. He has transformed that area of his game to his new code, which has brought him to the attention of Jones, who seems keen to give the winger a chance to impress him on the international stage.
For Charnley, his switch hasn’t really worked out and now he will be looking to get back to the top of his game in the Super League, with the winger joining a lengthy list of players who haven’t made the grade in the 15-man game. However, whilst the new Warrington winger acclimatises to life back in Rugby League, another of Super League’s former flyers continues to push on in Rugby Union, with Solomona hoping to join an elite group of players to make an impact in both codes.
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