League stars on Kiwis 7s radar

Sun, 30 Jun 2013 15:06
Large sonny bill williams in jap2 Large benji marshall Large sonny bill williams in jap3

New Zealand Rugby League stars Sonny Bill Williams and Benji Marshall were reported to be eyeing a switch to rival code Rugby Union, attracted by the lure of Olympic gold.

New Zealand Rugby League stars Sonny Bill Williams and Benji Marshall were reported to be eyeing a switch to rival code Rugby Union, attracted by the lure of Olympic gold.

High-profile code-hopper Sonny Bill Williams is already in talks with the defdning Super Rugby champions, the Chiefs, while the Blues have made an initial approach to Marshall.

The inclusion of Sevens in the 2016 Olympic Games was a "defining moment" for the sport, IRB chief executive Brett Gosper told AFP at the Sevens World Cup in Moscow saying he was in no doubt it would attract high-profile sportsmen.

"Some players like Sonny Bill Williams are announcing themselves available and I think there'll be other players who will not want to miss the opportunity to be a medal chance, represent their country at the Olympics, which for most people is the pinnacle."

Williams, who returned to Rugby League this year after a spell in union where he won a World Cup with the All Blacks in 2011, is expected to do one more year with the Sydney Roosters before returning to the Chiefs.

"We're certainly talking to him," Chiefs' coach Dave Rennie confirmed to the Sunday Star-Times. "We're pretty confident he'll be back in 2015."

Blues coach John Kirwan, meanwhile, said he has initiated talks with Marshall's manager Martin Tauber about converting the 28-year-old who is in negotiations about his future with his Sydney-based West Tigers League club.

"I think he's pretty serious about a change of scenery. Whether that's Rugby Union or Rugby League I'm not quite sure yet. I haven't personally spoken to Benji. It's just in the initial stages with his manager," Kirwan said.

"If he is coming to rugby he'd be looking at being an All Black and playing sevens, all those great things rugby can bring you."

Although the playmaker has not had a stellar year, being benched by the Tigers and stripped of the New Zealand captaincy, Kirwan believes he would be a sensation as a union flyhalf.

"He's a fantastic player. I definitely think he would be a 10. His ability to attack and put guys in space around him is incredible. He's an x-factor player. He's a pivotal guy in the league circles and he's a good leader."

AFP

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Wed, 31 August 2016
Griquas v EP Kings 15h00 Kimberley
Fri, 02 September 2016
Boland v Pumas 13h00 Wellington
Blue Bulls v Golden Lions 17h00 Pretoria
Ospreys v Zebre 18h35 Liberty Stadium
Leinster v Treviso 18h35 RDS Arena
Ulster v Dragons 18h35 Kingspan Stadium
Gloucester v Leicester Tigers 18h45 Kingsholm
Newcastle Falcons v Sale Sharks 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 03 September 2016
Saracens v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Twickenham Stadium
Free State Cheetahs v EP Kings 13h00 Bloemfontein
Scarlets v Munster 14h00 Parc y Scarlets
Northampton Saints v Bath 14h30 Franklin's Gardens
Western Province v Sharks 15h10 Cape Town
Harlequins v Bristol 15h30 Twickenham Stadium
Connacht v Glasgow Warriors 16h15 Sportsground
Cardiff Blues v Edinburgh 18h35 BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
Sun, 04 September 2016
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 14h00 Ricoh Arena
SEVENS
MORE LOGS
Pool 00
Team P W D L Pts
Brazil 7s 0 0 0 0 1
Korea Sevens 0 0 0 0 10
Pool 19
Team P W D L Pts
England Sevens 0 0 0 0 19
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Fiji Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Canada Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
New Zealand Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Australia Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
France Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Japan Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool C
Team P W D L Pts
Argentina Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
United States Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Russia Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool D
Team P W D L Pts
South Africa Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Kenya Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Portugal Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool
Team P W D L Pts
Wales Sevens
Zimbabwe 7s