Year after year we have seen the likes of Josh Charnley and Chris Ashton snatched away from Wigan Warriors, Denny Solomona taken from Castleford Tigers or even the new Warrington Wolves Head Coach Sam Burgess poached by Rugby Union.
But now that might be about to end at least in Australia. This has come after months of pursuits for NRL stars having snatched up Joseph Suaali’i and chasing Angus Crichton.
This was being driven by Eddie Jones as a way to enhance the squad ahead of the 2027 Rugby Union World Cup in Australia.
However, Chairman of Rugby Australia Phil Wraugh has announced an end to pursuits for rugby league especially after NRL has begun moving for rugby union stars.
‘The game historically has spent more than we can afford,’ he told reporters on Wednesday.
‘It’s not just all about money. You don’t want to be attracting people just because of the money and then you don’t have the environment sorted out.
‘We can’t ignore the fact that we’ve got athletes, not just rugby league targeting them, but you’ll have overseas clubs target them as well from a rugby perspective.
‘We certainly have a job to do in terms of actually getting our game in order to attract the best possible athletes.
‘We need to ensure that we’re creating an environment (where) people want to be… and we’re filling stadiums and (have) a real buzz around the game.
‘We’re certainly not there right now. But what we need to do is actually provide security to our players (so) that they trust the administration and the direction we’re taking the game,’ he said.
‘I don’t care if (young) people are playing league and AFL and other sports. Just as long as they’re experiencing rugby and then we’ve actually got a really clear pathway for those 15, 16, 17-year-olds to become Wallabies or Super Rugby players sooner than what they have historically.’
We can only hope that we see a similar end to rugby union clubs chasing rugby league stars with Leeds Rhinos star Harry Newman the latest Super League star to be linked with the 15 man code in 2021.