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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 January, 2004, 16:15 GMT
Wales launch Johns bid
Andrew Johns
Andrew Johns is considering a switch of codes for the 2007 World Cup
The Welsh Rugby Union has made an audacious bid for Australia rugby league star Andrew Johns.

Johns, who has expressed in interest in switching codes, qualifies for Wales through his Rhondda-born grandfather.

WRU chief executive David Moffett has strong links with the player since his days at the Australian Rugby League.

"It seems logical that we should explore the possibility of getting him to play for and in Wales," said Moffett.

"His brother, Matthew, considered playing for Wales in the 2000 Rugby League World Cup and Andrew actually spoke to the Welsh team when they were in Australia a few months ago for the Rugby Union World Cup.

"He talked then about his Welsh links, which go back to his grandfather. He was a miner in the Rhondda Valley who emigrated to Newcastle, Australia last century."

Johns, who is out of contract with the Newcastle Knights and is being touted around by his manager John Fordham, is considering a move to union for the 2007 World Cup.

The 29-year-old scrum-half has told friends and family he wants to go head-to-head against World Cup winners England.

He would prefer to do that in the green and gold colours of Australia rather than in the red of Wales, but the Australian Rugby Union has denied that they are targetting the player.

Despite already recruiting high-profile converts Wendell Sailor, Lote Tuqiri and Mat Rogers to the 15-man code, the ARU says its focus is now on developing young talent rather than throwing money at big-name rugby league stars.




SEE ALSO
Johns eyes union move
11 Jan 04  |  Rugby League


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