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Japan

Big Marn

Bench
Messages
2,609
Is the Japanese club rugby scene the main obstacle to more Allbacks defecting to league?
League is surging in popularity again and a couple of Wallabies are making the jump. Do Allblacks stay Allblacks knowing their pension will be topped up by Japan?
Not sure what they get paid. Just putting it out there.
 
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Messages
17,350
To me it's that union players can't play league.
Name a recent successful conversion the union to league vs the other way?
But it probably is money!
 

Blair

Coach
Messages
10,693
To me it's that union players can't play league.
Name a recent successful conversion the union to league vs the other way?
But it probably is money!

I wonder why that's the csse? As we know we've had some excellent union to league converts in the past.
 

Big Marn

Bench
Messages
2,609
When was the last one?
Eliesa Katoa only played Union growing up. He had only played a total of 13 games of league prior to making his debut for the Warriors. Not an AB but he was a union convert.
Will Warbrick is another one, who came from the 7s circuit. A much easier transition though, as playing on the wing for the Storm. Katoas successful transition is much more admirable.

An AB should be able to make the jump if sufficiently motivated. But the big fat cheque that enticed the likes of Ridge, Innes and Inga in the past now gets signed in Tokyo or Yokohama. ( and to a lesser extent, France)
 
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Brian potter

First Grade
Messages
5,060
Incredible to think that we could have seen Christian Cullen playing NRL nd probably for the kiwis had Union not went professional in 1995.

 

TheDMC

Bench
Messages
3,407
And get to live in and experience Japan (or France). That’s a bit enticement for many of the Union players later in their careers too , not just the $. on the whole they are a lot more worldly than NRL players …
 

Matua

Bench
Messages
4,785
Incredible to think that we could have seen Christian Cullen playing NRL nd probably for the kiwis had Union not went professional in 1995.

Probably? Definitely. Cullen would have been even more of a freak in league than say a Billy Slater. Especially in the 90s when his first line breaking would often mean only a fullback to beat and with his ability to change direction while not losing too much pace would have seen him nearly unstoppable. I reckon (obviously we will never know).

I created him in a league PS game once and just ramped up all the stats to 100. :)
 

taste2taste

Juniors
Messages
2,010
Don’t the players who can make the switch get signed up by the NRL teams much earlier - while still playing schoolboy rugby
Yeah, that's how it works in Australia. There was an article is last week's paper showing the huge gap between what a talented 18yr old gets offered from league compared to Union.

Not only huge financial incentives but a better chance of making a comfortable living with 17 teams compared to 4...and all the CBA agreements assuring players health is looked after post retirement, more sponsorship opportunities...etc

It's actually incredible Rugby Australia get any youngster to sign with them.
 

taste2taste

Juniors
Messages
2,010
It'll be interesting to see how Gordan and Marky Mark go in the NRL

If they are successful there's no doubt NRL clubs will starting looking around at Union players. With the NRL salary cap increasing every year it wont be long until NRL clubs can offer as much or more than Japan.
 

Beavers Headgear

First Grade
Messages
9,280
JWH was considered the next big prospect for the Wallabies before Manly signed him at around 17-18

remember that Dragons probably somewhere around the mid 00s being a union man, Jarrod Saffy
 

Beavers Headgear

First Grade
Messages
9,280
I think you’d have to give rugby players a reasonable amount of time to get the fitness up to scratch, completely different thing having to go up and back continuously compared to standing around watching scrums and line outs for half the game
 

JJ

Immortal
Messages
31,991
Probably? Definitely. Cullen would have been even more of a freak in league than say a Billy Slater. Especially in the 90s when his first line breaking would often mean only a fullback to beat and with his ability to change direction while not losing too much pace would have seen him nearly unstoppable. I reckon (obviously we will never know).

I created him in a league PS game once and just ramped up all the stats to 100. :)
Cullen was Brett Kenny like with the acceleration, changes of direction etc… flat out freak
 
Messages
597
To me it's that union players can't play league.
Name a recent successful conversion the union to league vs the other way?
But it probably is money!
If it was purely money All Blacks wouldn't even be based in NZ because they can all make more money in Europe or Japan. And in the case of Japan, they'd be banking it playing a shorter and less strenuous season. Its not money that keeps those guys around.
 

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