Schifcofske fills league gap

After virtually losing three of their league converts this season, the crossing over of Clinton Schifcofske could provide some relief for Australian rugby.

With Wendell Sailor banned for two years after testing positive for coke, and Mat Rogers and Lote Tuqiri set to return to league after the World Cup, Schifcofske’s arrival in union is perfectly timed.

Ironically, the ARU failed to offer the Canberra Raiders captain a contract and it was left to the Queensland Reds to bring him across to union.

Schifcofske’s award-winning season ended on Saturday night when the Bulldogs thumped the Raiders 30-12 at Telstra Stadium.

However, the fullback has turned down the chance to make his debut for the Reds in the APC this month, and will instead join the Reds on a 10-day tour of Japan and play against the national side on the day of his 31st birthday.

“That’s by far and away the best thing for him,” Reds coach Eddie Jones told the Sydney Morning Herald. “Any guy who can play well at State of Origin level can play for Australia in rugby – that’s the guideline we use. He’s a very good player, he’ll find his feet quickly and we’re looking forward to him joining the squad.”