Williams and Folau may attract more rugby union players to rugby league

Sonny Bill Williams and Israel Folau are two of the most high-profile rugby union players to make the switch across to rugby league in recent times.

Both men have represented their respective nations at international rugby union and are huge names in the world of sport, though of course both started out in rugby league.

After successful spells in rugby league, there is a good chance we could see more players make the same switch in the near future, particularly at the back end of their careers when some rugby union stars are looking for a new challenge.

England rugby union captain Owen Farrell is the most obvious player in this country who may be tempted by rugby league in the future. At the moment, the 29-year-old is at the top of his game. His side are the odds-on favourite at 1/4 in the Six Nations betting so there is a good chance the Saracens man will lift a trophy later this year. Farrell’s father Andy played rugby league for Wigan where he is considered a legend so it will be interesting to see if he features in the Super League before he retires.

Williams Proves Good Players Can Excel in Both Codes

Williams already had experience in rugby league when he signed for Toronto Wolfpack at the end of 2019. In the early stages of his career, he featured in the NRL for Canterbury Bulldogs and Sydney Roosters.

It was in rugby union that Williams became one of the best sports stars in the world though. The second row forward won the World Cup with the All Backs in 2011 and 2015. His New Zealand team were dominant in international rugby union and Williams was a big part of that success.

Williams recently returned to Sydney for a second spell with the Roosters to play in the closing stages of the 2020 season. His future looks to still be in rugby league where he is capable of playing in either of the two major domestic leagues in the world.

Folau Looks A Class Above in Super League

Wherever he has been throughout his career, Folau has broken records on the pitch. He started out playing rugby league professionally for Melbourne Storm, where he was a big hit. His excellent form in the NFL continued for the Brisbane Broncos between 2009 and 2010.

In 2013, Folau moved to rugby union which proved to be a smart move as he became a big success for Australia, representing his country on 62 occasions and scoring 32 tries across those matches for the Wallabies. Six years later he broke the record in Super Rugby for the most tries scored by a player in the history of the competition.

Folau currently plays rugby league for the Catalan Dragons and he has impressed for the French club in the Super League. He recently extended his contract until the end of 2021 and it is unlikely that there will be a shortage of interest in his services at that point.

It is going to be interesting to see in 2021 if any other rugby union names are to follow Williams and Folau into rugby league.

Do you think any other names from the 15-man code will make the switch to rugby league any time soon? Who would you like to see? Let us know in the comments below.

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