It is fair to say that Sam Burgess’ stint in Rugby Union did not go entirely to plan and he has returned to the South Sydney Rabbitohs with his tail between his leg.
Burgess is one of countless players that have attempted to make the transition from Rugby Union to Rugby League and he has not been the worst of them, but he still belongs in this list of the code swap flops.
Sam Burgess – Rugby League To Rugby Union
Sam Burgess left the South Sydney Rabbitohs after he led them to the 2014 NRL Premiership to try his hand at Rugby Union and he made it all the way the Rugby World Cup, but he spent the majority of his time in the bench for the awful English side.
The video below makes it seem as though Burgess was some kind of Rugby Union god, but we can confirm that this was far from reality!
Michael Jordan – Basketball To Baseball
Those of you that have seen Space Jam, which should be all of you, will know that Michael Jordan gave up Basketball in his prime to attempt to make it as a Baseball player following the death of his Dad.
Jordan was woeful as a baseballer – that video of him dropping a catch is hilarious – but he did manage to bring in some big crowds during his time as a member of the Chicago White Sox and we may not have gotten Space Jam if he stayed in the NBA.
Jeff Fenech – Boxing To Rugby League
The Parramatta Eels have produced some woeful signings in their history, but the decision to give boxer Jeff Fenech a contract rates right up there and he only managed to play a couple of reserve grade games before going back to Boxing.
We couldn’t find any footage of Fenech wearing the blue and gold, but this video of him arguing with another code-swapper Anthony Mundine is even more entertaining.
Israel Folau – Rugby League To AFL
Israel Folau joined Karmichael Hunt in the AFL after being offered a massive deal with the Greater Western Sydney Giants and despite his natural athleticism Izzy was never able to make it in the AFL.
Thankfully, his third code swap was far more successful and he has developed into a key member of the Wallabies side, but anybody that watched his kicking during the World Cup would question how anybody ever thought he could make it in the AFL.
Benji Marshall – Rugby League To Rugby Union
Sam Burgess’ stint in Rugby Union can be classed a failure, but he was still able to represent his country and he was far from the worst league convert in the game they play in heaven.
That title belongs to Benji Marshalll – who managed to make enemies from the time that he signed with the Blues and he was nothing short of an embarrassment during his very brief stint in Super Rugby.
Credit where it is due – his return to rugby league has been very impressive.
Andrew Johns – Rugby League To Cricket
Twenty20 Cricket is now big business, but when it was first introduced in Australia it was nothing short of a joke and New South Wales did their best to get crowds through the gate by signing Rugby League legend Andrew Johns.
Johns looked absolutely terrified during his entire stint as a professional cricketer, but it is fair to say his stint as a cricketer is not even close to his most embarrassing moment since he retired by rugby league.
Brock Lesnar – WWE To NFL
Brock Lesnar is one of the scariest men on the planet and he has achieved success in College Wrestling, Professional Wrestling and the UFC, but even he couldn’t make it in the NFL.
Lesnar spent a pre-season as a member of the Minnesota Vikings and his most memorable moment came when he started a fight with teammate Nate Burleson at training.
James Toney – Boxing To UFC
James Toney was a boxing legend, but he could not make the transition to Mixed Martial Arts and he was embarrassed by Randy Couture in his only fight in the UFC back in 2010.
While Toney offered no value in the Octagon, his pre-fight interviews were hilarious and this one below is no exception – ‘the only freakshow I have is between my legs’ is a personal highlight.
Garrick Morgan – Rugby Union To Rugby League
While a number of players have made a successful leap from Rugby League to Rugby Union, making the move the other way has proved extremely difficult and Wallabies forward Garrick Morgan lasted only a couple of months when he signed with the South Queensland Crushers during the Super League War.
We couldn’t find video of Morgan during his Rugby League stint, but how good is this game between the Crushers and Redcliffe Dolphins from 1995?
Jarryd Hayne – Rugby League To NFL
Jarryd Hayne’s NFL dream remains alive, but let’s be real for a moment – it is hanging by a thread.
Hayne was being compared with Don Bradman when he had a couple of good punt returns during the NFL Pre-Season – simply outragerous – but a couple of fumbles later and he was completely out of favor with the San Francisco 49ers and when given the opportunity no other NFL team showed any desire to sign him.
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