Top rugby league coach set to make rugby union switch

Leeds Rhinos legend Kevin Sinfield, Wigan Warriors legends Shaun Edwards and Andy Farrell and many more rugby league legends have wound up coaching but in rugby union rather than in rugby league.

It often seems like a one way street when it comes to the crossover in talent from rugby league and rugby union.

The only recent example of Super League interest in rugby union talent was in Owen Farrell and even that was quickly snuffed out.

Rugby union continues to eye up the top talent in rugby league especially in Australia as they prepare for the 2027 World Cup.

Now reports are that Rugby Australia have moved for NRL coach Jason Ryles.

Ryles has rugby union experience but recently agreed to join the Melbourne Storm in 2024.

However, reports down under are saying he is set to join Eddie Jones with Rugby Australia.

They have also been chasing players recently turning to Brisbane Broncos star Payne Haas.

Off contract at the end of 2024 the brilliant forward was able to negotiate with rival clubs since November and that includes rugby union as well.

Haas has been key to Brisbane Broncos’ amazing start to the season as they finally look like Premiership contenders again but they face a tough battle to keep him at the club. He has been a front runner in Dally M leaderboard all season.

Initially he was offered a $1.2 million deal according to the Mail but some reports claimed it could be as much as $1.6 million.

Then it was revealed that Western Force are willing to pay him $1.5 million a year to acquire his services.

There is a hope in Union that he could be in the sport in time for the British and Irish Lions Tour as well as the World Cup in Australia in 2027 which is the driving force behind these pushes for talent with Joseph Suaali’i already signed and talks about attempting to bring Nathan Cleary to the sport as well as rugby union strives to raid rugby league’s biggest stars.

“Payne could definitely be wearing Wallaby gold,” Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan said to The Daily Telegraph recently.

“We really like Payne. He has a strong rugby pedigree and it’s probably time for him to spread his wings and do something really special.

“The Broncos are great – but playing for the Wallabies against the British Lions would be even better. By playing rugby, Payne can see the world.”

Despite this, Haas has now officially signed an extension with Brisbane.