Rugby-Wallabies flyhalf Gordon moves to league with Gold Coast Titans

  • Rugby
  • Wednesday, 12 Jun 2024

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Rugby World Cup 2023 - Pool C - Wales v Australia - OL Stadium, Lyon, France - September 24, 2023 Australia's Carter Gordon during the warm up before the match REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier/File Photo

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Wallabies flyhalf Carter Gordon will switch to rugby league with the Gold Coast Titans on a two-year deal next season after the Melbourne Rebels went out of business at the end of the Super Rugby campaign.

The 23-year-old was the sole specialist flyhalf in the Australia squad at last year's Rugby World Cup in France and would have been a contender to lead the line against the British and Irish Lions next year.

Gordon had been expected to move to the New South Wales Waratahs after the Rebels collapsed under A$23 million ($15.22 million) of debt but said he wanted to take on the challenge of playing in the National Rugby League (NRL).

"At 23, I feel like I had to take this opportunity now," the Queenslander said in a Titans news release.

"I'm under no illusions and understand that this will be a massive challenge. I'm excited with the direction that rugby league is taking and the positive feeling around the game."

Gordon, who had a breakout season with the Rebels last year that accelerated him into Wallabies squad, is the second player from last year's ill-fated World Cup campaign to move to the 13-man game.

Winger Mark Nawaqanitawase will join the NRL's Sydney Roosters next year with standout back Joseph Suaalii heading the other way to the Waratahs.

The moves are a blow to rugby union, which is struggling to compete with league for attention and young talent as it looks to rebuild for the Lions tour and the World Cup on home soil in 2027.

($1 = 1.5110 Australian dollars)

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Peter Rutherford)

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