Rugby League stars Sonny Bill Williams and Benji Marshall are repotedly eyeing a code-hop to Sevens in an attempt to compete for gold in the 2016 Olympic Games.
Sonny Bill Williams is no stranger to changing codes, as the league giant originally switched to union and joined Toulon in France and the Crusaders and Chiefs in New Zealand, before heading back to the 13-man game.
“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,” said IRB chief executive Brett Gosper.
The Chiefs have been in touch with Williams in order to return the big centre to Super Rugby in 2015.
“We’re certainly talking to him,” said Chiefs coach Dave Rennie. “We’re pretty confident he’ll be back in 2015.”
Benji Marshall on the other hand has become a league stalwart and could make his long-speculated switch the union after the Blues have reached out the fleet-footed star.
“I think he’s pretty serious about a change of scenery,” said Blues coach John Kirwan. “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.”
“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.”
Kirwan sees the 28-year old as a potential flyhalf for the Auckland side.
“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.”