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'I'd entertain it': NRL star admits code switch 'wouldn't be off the cards'

By Finn Morton
Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Cronulla Sharks enforcer Toby Rudolf has admitted that a stunning code switch to rugby union “wouldn’t be off the cards” in the future.

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Rudolf, 27, is the latest NRL star to hint at a potential future in the 15-player game in the wake of Eddie Jones’ interest in rugby league talent.

Wallabies coach Jones has publicly proclaimed his admiration for New South Wales and Australia lock Cameron Murray, who played rugby union at high school.

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Murray, who is the captain of the South Sydney Rabbitohs, said he would “contemplate and consider” a code switch once his contract expires.

Melbourne Storm forward Nelson Asofa-Solomona has also expressed his interest in returning to rugby union, while the uncertainty surrounding Joseph Suaalii’s future continues to make headlines.

Rudolf, who comes off contract with the Sharks at the end of the 2024 season, said he’d “entertain” an opportunity to pursue rugby union.

“Honestly, yeah I think I would (return to rugby union),” Rudolf said on The Bye Round podcast.

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“Just because, as you know, this game is very hard on the body. You can play league until you’re 32 or 33. Obviously Paul Gallen was 38, but he is a freak of nature.

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“Union is much easier on the body, you can play for longer, have a longer career, travel the world as well which is one thing I’m passionate about doing.

“So yeah, I’d entertain it for sure. It wouldn’t be off the cards.”

The Wallabies will usher in a new era under Eddie Jones this year, who previously coached the Australian national team to a World Cup final in 2003.

Jones included dual internationals Wendell Sailor, Lote Tuqiri and Mat Rogers in his squad for rugby union’s most prestigious event 20 years ago, and it almost worked.

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While a Jonny Wilkinson drop goal – with his right foot – kept the Wallabies from back-to-back World Cup crowns, Jones appears intent on luring more NRL talent to the rival code.

Jones will oversee the Wallabies’ World Cup campaign in France this year, as well as their pursuit of rugby immortality on home soil in four years’ time.

The Wallabies will also host the British and Irish Lions in 2025.

In an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald earlier this year, Jones revealed his desire to “get back players who were lost initially from rugby to rugby league.”

“We always want to develop players in rugby first. That’s the No. 1 priority,” Jones said.

“No. 2 is to get back players who were lost initially from rugby to rugby league due to the financial inducements that league are able to give the players.

“We want to get players back who are lost.”

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