Who else has swapped sports?
Days ago, former Parramatta star, Jarryd Hayne announced he would be trading in his NFL dream for a new one – to play in the Olympics. Hayne has now been named to play for Fiji in this weekend’s , where Fiji will play England, Wales and Australia, as well as three finals matches if they succeed in the first three games.
Hayne isn’t the first to change codes, and he won’t be the last. We take a look at some other sporting stars who have changed codes over the years:
Sonny Bill Williams
In 2008, Sonny Bill Williams walked out on the Bulldogs just days before a game against the Dragons. Then Bulldogs captain, Andrew Ryan said “To give us no indication at all and to walk out on us while we’re trying to prepare for a game is quite difficult to take.”
He was also a member of the New Zealand rugby league World Cup squad. In 2015, he returned to union just in time for the Rugby World Cup, which Sonny Bill was a part of, helping New Zealand to the title 34-17 over Australia.
South Sydney Rabbitohs forward Sam Burgess left the Rabbitohs at the end of the 2014 season, after the club’s first premiership in 43 years (Burgess playing the whole game with a fractured cheekbone). He left the side to take up an opportunity to play rugby union with English club, Bath. He was also selected for the England team for the Rugby World Cup, in which he became a dual international (playing for his country in two different codes). It didn’t seem to work out, and he returned in time for the 2016 season, reuniting with brothers, twins, George and Tom, while his other brother, Luke is at the Manly Sea Eagles.
Former Dragons five-eighth and boxer, Anthony Mundine is seriously considering returning to Rugby League at the age of 40. He wants to return to the club he left in 2000, the St George Illawarra Dragons.
Mundine is serious about a comeback, and here is what he had to say, “I know with my skills, I can still be one of the best five-eighths in the game.”
“Age doesn’t define me. I’m 40 but I feel like I’m 25. My body hasn’t had the year-in, year-out punishment from rugby league. I left in my prime,” Mundine continued.