To celebrate Laumape making his debut on the weekend. I wanted to put together the best ever rugby league converts 15. Some players are out of position, but overall it is a pretty stacked 15.
Fullback – Israel Folau – You have to feel a little bit sorry for this guy. So much talent and an unreal player, but has switched codes at the lowest point in Australian rugby history. All the teams he plays on suck, but has played in a RWC final. A shoe-in at the Fullback position.
Wing – John Kirwan – Enough said
Center – Sonny Bill Williams – The villain from the second Lions test. However, he is one of the most decorated rugby and league players going around. He is a player some people love to hate, but one thing is for sure. He is a fantastic code player and the players love the guy. A freak athlete. Just give the below video a watch.
Second Five Eight – Ngani Laumape – The newest member to this 15. A genuine wrecking ball that the Lions are finding out first hand. He looks like Nonu 2.0.
Wing – Lote Tuquri – An explosive winger who had a successful career in both codes. Got to love the fact he got his union contract torn up for shagging a 20 year old in the hotel room before a test match. Nicknamed “Last Chance Lote” the rag head winger seemed like a roost as well.
First Five Eight – Frano Botica – The Boot is one of the cross code originals. He played for NZ in both codes and later played for Croatia in two rugby world cup qualifying matches. One of the more iconic kickers and if not the only guy to successfully switch codes in the half’s.
Halfback – Jason Robinson – Playing out of position, but the short little winger I thought could fill in nicely at the back of the ruck, and was to good to leave out. He has scored massive tries in his career, which include a RWC final and a ripper for the Lions. Express pace and skill.
Number 8 – Ben Teo – The most recent convert for the English team, and someone that shows real promise. Managed to get his highlight in the first Lions test, even if he did get dropped for the second.
Openside Flanker – Mark Carter – A controversial decision at openside no doubt. Probably one the the worst All Blacks. Not many will know Mark but he was the only All Black to be tormented by his own countrymen. A slow and painful ‘Car-ter, Car-ter, Car-ter’ rang around the stands of Carisbrook in his Test against Australia. There are rumours that he made the All Blacks because he was dating John Hart’s daughter. When his rugby union career stalled he tried his luck at rugby league with the Auckland Warriors, and now is on lists like this one for the 13-a-side code! Incredibly, Carter returned to union and was recalled by the All Blacks…who were coached by Hart.
Blindside Flanker – Marc Ellis – Playing out of position, but when you hold the record for most test tries in a RWC game, you have to make the team.
Lock – Brad Thorn (C) – My pick of the best to ever jump codes. Thorn was an absolute machine and is the most decorated union and league player there is. He ticked off every trophy worth getting in both codes and played for the All Blacks until he was 36. A legend of the game, and a fan favourite. Brad gets the captain’s arm band for this team.
Lock – Andy Farell – Farrell earned eight England caps in a steady playing career in Union. He made a try scoring appearance for England in the 2007 World Cup, but his achievements in League remained the biggest success of his career on the field, winning five league titles, four Challenge Cups and two Golden Boot awards. The now 40-year-old has enjoyed a fine coaching career in his adopted sport, helping England’s growth and on the current Lion’s tour.
Prop – Wendell Sailor – Big Dell’s is playing right out of position, but his imposing physique and raw power makes me think he could handle the front row.
In 2001 he moved codes from Rugby League to Union and In 2006 he received a two year suspension from all forms of professional sport after he was found to have used cocaine. A roost and a helluva footy player.
Hooker – Craig Wing – Wingy is an Australian-born Filipino who was a local at the Bondi Beach Hotel during his league days. Seeing he played hooker occasionally during his league days, I have no doubt that he could get his ears dirty in the scrum for this team. Craig now plays for the Japan rugby team which famously beat South Africa at the last world cup.
Prop – Sam Burgess – Arguably one of the biggest failures in code jumping. The SBW wannabe gave it a nudge to try make the English RWC team for their home world cup. He made the team, they crashed out at the pool stage. Rest is history.