The announcement that former England and British and Irish Lions centre Ben Te’o would be converting back to rugby league on Thursday went viral, but not necessarily for the right reasons. This is a big move for the 33-year-old, who is returning to the six-time NRL winners having spent four years of his career with them between 2009 and 2012, but the announcement was swiftly followed by his new team losing 59-0 to reigning champions the Sydney Roosters at home (albeit an empty Suncorp Stadium).
Inevitably, social media became a hotbed of memes at the expense of Te’o ahead of his move to a side who have now lost their last two games by a combined score of 93-6 since the NRL’s return.
— Brendan Bradford (@1bbradfo) June 4, 2020
— Jelisa Apps (@JelisaApps) June 4, 2020
6:40pm AEST: Ben Te’o signs with the Broncos.
— bet365_aus (@bet365_aus) June 4, 2020
— Back to Back Ben (@benos95) June 4, 2020
— Shaun (@SMancini1989) June 4, 2020
3 hours later: “Ben Te’o would like t announce his immediate retirement from the Broncos franchise” https://t.co/4mbkZhqKAa
— Anthony (@gc_anthony) June 4, 2020
The former Samoa rugby league international will know he has his work cut out for him in Brisbane, but is another installment in one of the most varied careers that either code has seen.
Te’o started his career in the NRL at the West Tigers, before his spell with the Broncos, and finished his first stint in league with the South Sydney Rabbitohs, where he won a Premiership title.
He made the move to union in 2014, where he spent two seasons with Leinster, before joining the Worcester Warriors. During his time in the Premiership he earned 16 England caps and two Lions caps, but missed out on the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
After missing out on going to Japan with England, he had a brief stint with Toulon, and has most recently been playing for Japan’s Sunwolves in Super Rugby. However, the abandonment of this year’s competition due to the COVID-19 pandemic brought to an end the Tokyo outfit’s time in Super Rugby, meaning Te’o was left looking for a new club.
Although the hard-running centre has found a new team, it is of course not without its complications as he hopes to stop the rot at the Broncos.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) June 7, 2020
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now