Rarely do we see rugby union players making a potential switch to rugby league, but we may well see it here if things go in a certain direction – with NSW Waratahs centre Tom Carter tossing up a move to the NRL, with a couple of clubs interested in the 29-year old.
With Carter all but likely to leave the Waratahs at season’s end, the possibility of a code switch is somewhat likely – with Carter seen as a potential back-rower should he play NRL, given his 100kg and 1.89m frame.
There has also been interested from rival Super Rugby clubs, as well as from Japan – meaning any NRL club that wants him, will have to act swiftly.
“We have had preliminary discussions with a couple of rugby league clubs, and at this stage he has interest from another province,” Ed Carter, brother and manager of Tom said.
“At this stage, it looks like he is more than likely not going to be at NSW.”
Carter is no stranger to the game of rugby league, having played the sport as a junior in the NSW Country town of Young, before he moved to Sydney to attend a rugby-playing school.
As his 8-year tenure at the Waratahs looks set to come to an end, with family circumstances a big part of Carter’s decision, it is likely he will take up an offer with an NRL club, for that reason.
“The decision for him is based around the fact he is pretty keen to stay here, as opposed to going overseas, because with the right opportunity he still thinks he can play some decent football,” Ed Carter said.
Sam Harris, who was the last player to make a switch from rugby to rugby league, believes that Carter would make a solid rugby league player.
“Me and Tommy used to talk about that all the time in my last years with NSW, he was always looking over the fence and wondering about league,” Harris said.
“He’d be a really good league player, to be honest. He’s big and strong, he’s fast and he’s very fit, probably at the high standard league players require.
“He’s got the right sort of shape, not too tall, a bit compact like the leaguies.
“And he’s done really well to hold down a spot with the Waratahs for five years.
“Stuff he gets criticised for in rugby wouldn’t be involved in league. He’d be good to put on a right edge, he runs good lines and would look after your halfback in defence.”
Whilst Carter knows that his tenure is nearing an end, his brother said that the decision to leave union and the Waratahs, was a tough one.
“He has really enjoyed his time and he’d hoped to continue to play there. He has a lot of respect for the people there,” Ed Carter said.