To switch rugby codes has always been a contentious issue amongst the rugby league fraternity.
The likes of Joel Tomkins, Sam Burgess and Kyle Eastmond have all tried their hand in the 15-a-side code with mixed degrees of success.
But, moving from rugby union to rugby league is often less common than vice-versa yet that hasn’t stopped current England international Ben Earl broach the idea of swapping to the 13-man game.
Earl, who is currently on the books at Saracens, spent 2021 on loan with the Bristol Bears, but has been forced out of the reckoning in England’s flanker position and hasn’t been involved in the national set-up since last year’s Six Nations.
That snub has prompted the flanker to think seriously about his future within rugby union, so much so that his interest has flirted with a possible move to Super League.
Earl had even set up a training session with the Leeds Rhinos, but those plans were halted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earl had spoken to the RugbyPass Offload podcast about a potential move earlier in the year.
“At some point my career, I would love to give it (rugby league) a try, if the opportunity arose,” Earl said.
“There was actually an opportunity to for me to do some training with Leeds Rhinos this summer just gone. It just didn’t work out. They just had a Cup Final and rugby league was hit really badly with Covid, right in the middle of their season.
“At one point I was going to head up there for a week and half to see if I enjoyed it. I love watching it and I’d like to think that I’d be alright playing it.
“It’s something that I’m interested in, if the opportunity ever arose, I’d give it a go.”
Earl recently spent a season-long loan at Bristol Bears, but has returned to Saracens with a bang, saying: “There is a great phrase at Saracens that has always stuck in my mind – ‘you work incredibly hard and we treat you incredibly well’. The feeling around the club is simply unbelievable.”
However, Earl hasn’t made his desire to move to the 13-a-side code a secret, and, with his contract running out at the end of next season, who’s say to say it couldn’t happen?