National Rugby League

Wallabies coach Cheika not planning to poach rugby league stars

Australia coach Michael Cheika will not approach rugby league players about the possibility of switching codes, but is open to the idea of NRL stars converting to the 15-man format.

Cheika, who led the Wallabies to the Rugby World Cup final last year, stated this week that he was unconcerned about a perceived lack of depth in Australia's ranks ahead of the upcoming three-Test series against England.

Although the 49-year-old confirmed that talks have taken place with some rugby league stars, he does not plan on making the first move to get players to switch to union.

"We don't want to go chasing players who play rugby league because we're never going to compete at the end of the day if we really wanted to go there," he told Rugby 360.

"What we'll do is when players show an interest in coming to rugby that means they genuinely want to play the game as opposed to 'oh, we'll try and force you to play the game and give you money to convert you'.

"We've spoken to a fair few blokes this year from rugby league who have approached us just to gauge interest, not necessarily say, 'we want to come' but, 'what do you think about that?'"

Melbourne Storm winger Marika Koroibete is being tipped to make a switch to union, with Super Rugby side Rebels said to be interested in his services.

And Cheika is an admirer of Koroibete - who has scored 38 tries in 57 Storm appearances.

"You'd be mad not to be a fan of Koroibete," he added. "You know if Koroibete does come to play rugby he's going to go through one of the best training grounds in Melbourne.

"A great coach, a great training methodology and philosophy, and he'll be a tough player if he comes over."