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
Fri, 27 May 2016
Hurricanes v Highlanders 07h35 Wellington
Waratahs v Chiefs 09h40 Sydney
Boland v Eagles 13h00 Wellington
Free State Cheetahs v Pumas 13h00 Bloemfontein
Kings v Jaguares 17h00 Ascoli Piceno
Border v Falcons 17h00 East London
Sat, 28 May 2016
Blues v Crusaders 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Sunwolves 09h40 Canberra
Western Province v Griquas 10h15 Newlands
Blue Bulls v Leopards 12h15 Loftus Versfeld
Stormers v Cheetahs 13h00 DHL Newlands
Namibia v Griffons 13h00 Windhoek
Golden Lions v EP Kings 13h00 Johannesburg
Saracens v Exeter Chiefs 14h00 London
Bulls v Lions 15h05 Loftus Versfeld
Leinster v Connacht 16h30 Edinburgh
Sun, 29 May 2016
Rebels v Force 06h05 Melbourne
England v Wales 14h00 London
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