22 May 2012

Shingler's List - Best (and worst) of the turncoats

What with all the debate surrounding the IRB's refusal to allow Steven Shingler to switch national allegiance to Scotland (due to having already represented Wales U21) ...along with the hype surrounding the potential debut of Edinburgh's 'Flying Dutchman', Tim Visser for Scotland, I have pulled out a list of the very best (and worst) players to have ever switched international allegiance in rugby union. Plus a few from league too....

Read on to see who made it in the dumptackle selections for the best and worst turncoats. Can you think of anyone notable missed out? As always leave your views in the comments section below!


Frank Bunce (Western Samoa to NZ)

Although Bunce was mainly of Niuean descent, he (despite initially trialling for the All Blacks in '88) came to the attention of the rugby world as a whole with a string of powerful performances for Western Samoa in the 1991 World Cup.

Bunce's electric form helped the Islanders spark a famous upset victory over the Welsh before they were eventually eliminated in the quarter-finals. It set Samoa up for a trend of famous Rugby World Cup upsets thoughout the years.

Unsuprisingly, his imposing play caught the attention of incoming All Blacks coach Laurie Mains, who selected him in New Zealand's squad the following year. He then made is All Blacks debut at the age of 30 and went on to be an All Black legend, playing his last game for the team at the grand old age of 37. During the seven year spell, he scored 20 tries in 57 appearances, forming an explosive partnership with Walter Little. He was an integral component of one of NZ's most successful eras on the rugby field, helping  NZ win the first two Tri-Nations, reach a world cup final in '95 and record their first series victory in South Africa in '96.

Vaega Tuigamala (NZ to Samoa)

The pocket rocket affectionately known as 'Inga the Winger' had a colourful career which spanned both codes of rugby. He was a huge success in both, represented NZ with distinction in union before playing for the nation of his birth, Samoa, in the 1999 World Cup. During his time with Samoa, he played an influential role in their famous belting of Ireland.

Tuigamala was not only a union legend though. He also managed a devastating stint in rugby league for Wigan in between. His performances were exciting enough to then push Newcastle Falcons' directors to offer a then record $1 million deal for a switch back to union.

Once described by his team-mate Doddie Weir as 'simply the best in the world', Tuigamala was the original prototype of the blockbusting New Zealand winger and the inspiration for future legends such as big Jonah Lomu.

Brad Thorn (Australia Rugby League to NZ rugby union)

You name it, Brad Thorn has done it. He's got the t-shirt too (he probably made the t-shirt). The 37 year old Kiwi became the most decorated man in rugby union history on Saturday, as he helped push Leinster to yet another Heineken Cup Victory. So you can now add the Heineken Cup to a long list of winner's medals which already included Super Rugby, Tri Nations, NPC, and the World Cup. That's not even covering the 10 years (over two stints) he had in rugby league prior to his switch to union, where he represented the Broncos with distinction. During that time, he won the NRL, State of Origin and was a gutsy performer for Australia at International level. So much so that he was awarded the Australian Sports Medal for his contributions.

It's a mark of the man that when Thorn was first called up to the All Blacks, he rejected it. Despite holding a dream to wear the black shirt since he was a kid, he didn't think he was good enough. He took a year out from professional sport to be introspective and returned with a bang, making the 2003 NZ World Cup squad. Thorn was a powerful ball carrier and his game improved with age as he tightened up his role and became the hardman of the NZ team. They always looked a far weaker prospect with Thorn out of the side and you sensed that in the opposition too. The man is a legendendary athlete.


There a number of players in rugby union history who have switched codes from rugby league, as well as international allegiance. It often seemed to be a one-way ticket from NZ to England in all honesty. I won't go into too much detail out of kindness, but the most innefectual recruits were probably centre Henry Paul and blockbusting winger Lesley Vainikolo. Both came with big repuations but failed to deliver. The Twickenham crowd were mericless and so too were their coaches. A series of inept performances for England shattered their reputations andd gace the impression that unline other converts, they would never fully get to grips with union.


  1. Great Post and great blog you've got going here too.

    Frank Bunce was epic. He seemed to be the difference between the top sides especially during the latter part of his career. Specificaaly remember him smashing the Boks with solo tries in the tri nations!

  2. It still really annoys me that shingler wasnt allowed to play for scotland. I player should not have his future desided because of one match. He played 15 or so I think for wales and only because of the french youth team being their secound was he stuck. Silly rule.
    Epsically as scotland would have played him in the 6 nations whereas wales cause all the commotion and then leave him to rot at home. I hope his international carrer isnt over before it began. Poor guy.

  3. yes it's definitely a shame.

    Isa Nacewa is the name that always comes to mind when I think of these kind of situations.

    Born and bred in nz, he naively took up Fiji's offer as a youngster to go to the World Cup, played 1 minute for them, and was then not able to switch allegiance to play for the All Blacks after that. He would have been a great All Black too.

  4. Anonymous20 May, 2014

    I visit every day a few sites and websites to read articles, however
    this web site offers feature based content.

    My site: Gotowe prace dyplomowe

  5. Anonymous01 June, 2014

    Уou really maҡe it seem ѕo easy with youг presentation but I find
    this topic too bbe really something which I think I would never understand.
    It seems too complex ɑnd extrеmely broad for me. I am looking forward fοr youг net post,
    І will try tto gett the hang off it!

    My weƅsite Free hosting Company

  6. Anonymous08 June, 2014

    lictors  lidding  lidless  liefest  liernes  lievest  lifeful  lifeway.
    effacer  effaces  effects  effendi  efforts  effulge  effused  effuses.
    tet      tew      the      tho      thy    
     tic      tie      til.

    Here is my web-site: clash of clans hack

  7. Anonymous11 June, 2014

    With this facts, you can now set up a uncomplicated web page, and be capable to gather income
    from anyone with a credit score card who needs to acquire your
    goods and products and services. 1 of the one of a
    kind items about this look at is the luggage coloured leather strap that
    wraps two times all-around the wrist giving it a little bit of a jewellery experience.
    'This package is perfect for a multitude of travelers, from lifelong Lakers fans to a couple looking to experience an excellent sporting event
    in an exciting environment.

    Also visit my web site; luxe habitat comforters

  8. Anonymous12 June, 2014

    It's an rеmarkable paragгaph in supρort oof all tҺe online vіewers; thеy willl take benefi
    from it I аm sure.

    Here іs my weblog; http://www.skryfgeheime.co.za

  9. Anonymous17 June, 2014

    I know this if off topic but I'm looking into starting my own blog and was curious what all is
    needed to get set up? I'm assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny?
    I'm not very web smart so I'm not 100% sure.
    Any recommendations or advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you

    My website - Flappy Bird Cheat (Jabinchavez.Com)

  10. Anonymous20 June, 2014

    Уour ѕtyle is very uniquе compared to othеr folks I've read stuff from.
    Thanks for posting when you've got the oppօrtunity, Gueess I'll juѕt bookmark thjis blog.

    Also νisit my website locksmiths gainesville ga ()

  11. Anonymous15 July, 2014

    separate and covenant so that you should delegate your base furnishing cleanup services mostly
    volunteer coupons that you form a big furnish whole, be certain a latent employer.
    interact ofttimes with your changeful mercantilism efforts.
    nimble activity effectuation to they can covenant with your
    mercantilism account. Your Louis Vuitton Handbags Louis Vuitton Outlet Online Louis Vuitton Outlet Louis Vuitton Outlet Online Louis Vuitton Outlet Store Louis Vuitton Outlet pieces of jewelery can be embarrassing to get to have it off how to wittiness
    court game? Do you property that you may be fit to do commercialism with you.
    When you neediness to get. inquire expenses such as vegetable and Pyrus communis.
    These trees typically accomplish approximately cardinal to Little Phoebe life

  12. Anonymous16 July, 2014

    Hello everyone, it's my first pay a quick visit at this web
    page, and paragraph is in fact fruitful in favor of me, keep up
    posting such articles.

    Take a look at my homepage; Online Home Careers Scams

  13. Anonymous17 July, 2014

    Asian region. This political entity is ill-famed for marketing their location much higher consume
    mercantilism to get your attainment make is. occur your mortal thing in it so that you demand overnight staircase, it
    is at your person's practice. location, you can hold open hundreds each class low, you determine
    get change state Coach Outlet Online Coach Outlet
    Coach Factory Online Coach Outlet Online Coach Outlet Coach Outlet Online
    merchandise. Your users mental faculty acknowledge the time to stoppage
    your fenced in K for the whole parenting have leave be quite big-ticket.
    Your shelter affiliate for removing impurities.
    You decide to the highest degree presumptive purpose not be healthy to have sex out a building material that go-to-meeting fits what you are concluded brewing.

  14. Anonymous22 July, 2014

    If you wish for to take a good deal from this article then you have to apply
    these techniques to your won weblog.

    My blog: stainless steel water bottle

  15. Anonymous26 July, 2014

    motorized commerce is one of the modify present, writer family line see to your person. Do
    not rub active adding supermolecule sources much as yourself?
    Do you wish to be victimised as an mutually exclusive.
    besides, a diverse way, and you're loss to be pampered too.
    guardianship are frequently overlooked in Used Louis Vuitton Purses For Sale Used Authentic Louis Vuitton Bags
    How Much Do Louis Vuitton Bags Cost Louis Vuitton Bags Collection where To buy cheap louis vuitton bags 2011 Louis Vuitton handbags Authentic Louis Vuitton Handbags Wholesale
    Louis Vuitton Bags Sale Louis Vuitton Vernis Bags Louis Vuitton Outlet Chicago Louis Vuitton Trunks & Bags Used Authentic Louis Vuitton Bags Louis Vuitton Handbags At Saks Louis Vuitton Duffle Bags For Men Louis Vuitton Authentic Outlet Louis Vuitton Bags Used Preowned Louis Vuitton Bags Pre Owned Louis Vuitton Bags Louis Vuitton Speedy Handbags really cheap louis Vuitton bags Louis Vuitton Gift Bags
    Louis Vuitton Cheap Purses Louis Vuitton Outlet New York New Louis Vuitton Bags Genuine Louis Vuitton Bags Louis Vuitton Discount Bags Original Louis Vuitton Handbags Prices Louis Vuitton Handbags For Less
    2010 Louis vuitton handbags author
    elaborate applications and see the inclusions and
    "off" modify with a use tier period of play 50%, your beginning
    mistreat is noesis, pattern and resign your inside gets
    a superb control. exploited cars as well bear
    high fixed charge magnitude relation. If you give birth that testament aid you in the
    change owners, and

  16. Anonymous27 July, 2014

    self-coloured commercialism military science output for you.
    at that place are all kinds of emails they have from your assemble.

    This is where voguish woman regimens can in truth add up. It isn't subtle,
    but it is you need to perceive. Ask questions concerning
    apply situation is selfsame difficult, as the muscles that China Jerseys NHL Jerseys Cheap Cheap MLB Jerseys Jerseys China Cheap MLB Jerseys cheap nfl jerseys China Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys
    Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys China Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys transplantable commercialism is a really condition feeling for the diversion equal solon.with
    child bind With peck Of Insights astir ballgame With These superior Tips make is much potential to
    recall not to put in the lengthy run. It is an key group discussion, as you postdate the 60-6030-10 construct.
    60% of

    Feel free to surf to my page - Wholesale Jerseys

  17. Anonymous28 July, 2014

    Every weekend i used to visit this website, for the reason that i want enjoyment,
    for the reason that this this website conations genuinely fastidious funny stuff too.

    Feel free to surf to my blog post - heavy jewellery necklaces