Clash of the Codes A phone call which changed Mar
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At the age of 21, Martin Offiah seemed to have his sporting career mapped out.

Then playing rugby union for Rosslyn Park, the Londoner was already making a name for himself in the 15-man code - particularly on the back of a memorable display for the Barbarians on their traditional Easter tour of Wales.

Full England international honours seemed just around the corner and perhaps the opportunity of being part of the squad for the inaugural Rugby World Cup in 1987.

Rugby League Retro kicks off with the Cross Code Challenge

Indeed, the winger himself could barely have imagined he would instead be crossing the divide between union's amateurs and league's professionals later that year.

"I'd had some flirtation with rugby league in the past,韩棋迷 崔精是韩国围棋瑰宝 男同胞何时有点上进?," Offiah told Sky Sports' Golden Point Daily podcast.

"I remember being at a sevens competition and someone claiming to be from Hull saying would I be interested in playing rugby league,红单俱乐部19日竞彩推举:意甲盘王维罗纳持续不败, and I batted that away and didn't think much of it.

"I had no intention of signing for rugby league, my intention was to play for England because I'd played for England Students, I'd played for the Barbarians and divisional rugby, so I was on my way."

1:03 Watch our look at some of Wigan's rugby union stars from 1996 Watch our look at some of Wigan's rugby union stars from 1996

Despite once again showing his try-scoring prowess for London against The North in an England trial, Offiah was not among those travelling to Australia and New Zealand for the World Cup,星巴克早餐或将供应人造肉 Beyond Meat股价闻讯大涨, with Rory Underwood, Mark Bailey and captain Mike Harrison being the wingers chosen.

Then a phone call asking if Offiah would be interested in speaking to Widnes head coach Doug Laughton set in motion a chain of events which would lead to him moving north in an £85,000 deal and changing his life forever

"I scored two tries outside Rory Underwood [in the England trial] and I thought 'that's it, I'm getting the call for the World Cup'," Offiah said.

"That didn't happen and then I got a random phone call one summer's day when I was nursing an injury thinking 'what am I going to do with the rest of my life?'

I had no intention of signing for rugby league, my intention was to play [rugby union] for England

Martin Offiah

"I knew I'd out-grown Rosslyn Park, so was I going to go to Wasps or go to Bath and study at Bath University?

"But the phone rang and I can remember as if it was yesterday. Sometimes phone calls change your life and that did."

Offiah set the world of rugby league alight during his first season, scoring 42 tries - breaking Frank Myler's Widnes club record for most in a season in the process - as the Chemics secured a Championship and Premiership double, not to mention winning the Man of Steel award.

It was as part of Wigan's all-conquering team of the 1990s where he truly became a household name though, scoring 186 tries in 159 appearances from 1992 to 1996 and winning every domestic honour.

Offiah enjoyed a successful spell with Widnes

It was during his time with the Cherry and Whites he got the chance to returning to his roots as well, being part of the Wigan team which took on Bath, at that time the kings of English rugby union,埃菲社记者记载隔离办法下的北京生涯,东吴证券:以史为鉴 便宜股行情是什么信号?, in the Clash of the Codes matches in May 1996.

Offiah was the star of the show in the league leg at Maine Road, running in six tries as Wigan stormed to an 82-6 win, and featured as they were beaten 44-19 by Bath at Twickenham in the return.

However,刘翔“调虎离山”避媒体_体育频道_凤凰网, him and his Wigan team-mates did taste some glory at union headquarters in the Middlesex Sevens, with an all-star side which was a who's who of rugby league greats, plus present and future cross-code stars.

"That was the beginning of professional rugby union, it was Wigan trying to stamp their brilliance and show the world," Offiah said.

Shaun Edwards and Offiah hold the Russell-Cargill Trophy aloft after Wigan won the Middlesex Sevens

"You think of how much the Wigan team of that era, with the likes of Robinson, Farrell, (Shaun) Edwards and (Ellery) Hanley, and how big an influence they'd had on the world of rugby and sport.


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