Code-hopping strugglers

FIVE OF THE WORST RUGBY LEAGUE TO RUGBY UNION CODE HOPPERS

* SAM BURGESS

Much was expected of Burgess after making the high-profile move from NRL club South Sydney to Bath. Despite less than a year in the game, Burgess was controversially selected for the England 2015 World Cup squad and became a scapegoat for many after their dreadful pool-stage exit. Burgess struggled to make his mark and looked hopelessly out of his depth at the international level. He moved between inside centre to blindside flanker for Bath before he was shifted back to No.12 for England.

* BENJI MARSHALL

Even after his flair had faded, it seemed a given that Marshall would succeed in the Super Rugby when he departed the Wests Tigers in 2013 for the Auckland Blues. However the eccentric playmaker looked totally clueless in the 15-man game and was feasted on by opposition defences and spent most of his time with the Blues on the bench. After eight games and 212 minutes of action he admitted defeat and returned to NRL with St George Illawarra.

* ANDY FARRELL

Farrell was seen as one of the key figures behind Burgess’ rapid rise in rugby union, but things did not work out well for him either. Farrell made the move from Wigan Warriors – where he won a host of individual awards and honours – to English rugby team Saracens and was subsequently selected for the 2007 World Cup. After playing in a drubbing against South Africa, Farrell played just once more as England reached the final before retiring with just eight caps to his name.

* LESLEY VAINIKOLO

‘The Volcano’ was a prolific try-scorer at every level he played at in league. The Tonga-born winger scored 35 tries for Canberra in the NRL before adding another 149 to his tally at Bradford Bulls in the English Super League. The 12-times Kiwi representative then switched to rugby club Gloucester, where he scored five tries on debut. Then he finally met his match, failing to cross the white line in any of his five disappointing outings for the English side.

*HENRY PAUL

Paul’s long career saw him become not only a dual-code international, but also represent two different nations, like Vainikolo. He began life as a rugby league international with New Zealand, racking up 23 caps before moving to Kingsholm to play for Gloucester in rugby. Despite impressing for his club and making six England appearances, Paul never made the grade and eventually moved back to league, only to return again in the 15-man game for Leeds Carnegie.

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