War of the codes

In an escalation of the cross-code poaching war between rugby union and rugby league in-form Waratahs utility Peter Hewat has been approached by NRL club the Cronulla Sharks about switching codes.

With rugby’s public courtship of Kangaroos centre Mark Gasnier dominating recent headlines, the Sharks’ interest in the dynamic back, who is possibly on the verge of a Wallabies call-up, could be seen as league returning fire.

But there is one problem – Hewat is on contract until the end of the 2008 season and NSW coach Ewen McKenzie says the Waratahs have no intention of letting him go.

“We’ve heard there has been an approach but we’re not concerned because we’ve got him contracted for another couple of years,” McKenzie said. “In a way we see it as a bit of a compliment because we gave him a chance and he’s really taken it up and they obviously see a bloke with a fair bit of ability.

“We know he has had an approach from a European club as well. He has had a slow start to the year but now he’s displaying the form he showed last year. Pete is playing with less risk and more maturity this year and every game he is enhancing his prospects of playing at a higher level.”