Joel Tomkins and 5 Other Rugby Code Switch Busts

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Joel Tomkins and 5 Other Rugby Code Switch Busts
Warren Little/Getty Images
Joel Tomkins falls off a tackle in his short-lived England career

Rugby Union has welcomed a galaxy of stars from its 13-man cousin over the years, but not all of them have shone bright after making the switch.

The higher profile, higher salaries and better opportunities on offer all make a change from league to union an attractive proposition for the top players in the game.

The success stories include Jason Robinson, Sonny Bill Williams and Lote Tuqiri, but there have been some big name flops among the converts as well.

The latest to join the list of "misses" is Joel Tomkins. Just eight months after making his England debut in the 15-man game, he has departed his club Saracens and returned from whence he came.

Having made the decision to go back to league giants Wigan after three years as a union player, he said, per Andy Wilson in the Guardian: “The top and bottom of it is I’m a better rugby league player than I am a rugby union player.”

England fans—of both codes—would wholeheartedly agree with that sentiment.

Tomkins is in good company, as this list of five other less-than-successful code switchers illustrates.

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