Code Crosser Better Than Oz

Code Crosser Better Than Oz

It was great to see Rugby League convert Kyle Eastmond make his debut for Bath last weekend.

After having seen what he can do in training over the past few weeks, I was pleased that the club’s supporters finally got the chance to see him at The Rec.

It’s important not to over-hype someone when they have just crossed codes but former St Helens player Kyle has some very attractive skills and is a very exciting prospect.

It is always interesting to see where former league players fit in when they join a union club and I think Kyle could play in any number of positions.

He actually reminds me a lot of my former team mate at Leicester Tigers, Austin Healey.

Oz was someone who could play scrum-half, fly-half and wing because of the unique skill set he possessed. There are few people who could do that in this day and age.

Kyle’s style reminds me of Oz – only Kyle has a better running game than Oz, better hands and a better kicking game!

It is going to take him a long time to get used to Union and the skills and positional sense required to be successful. They are very different from League.

But there is no pressure on him to learn the ropes in a hurry. Everyone knows how tough an ask it is.

Some guys like Gareth Raynor and Chev Walker have crossed codes and found the transition too much.

But players like Andy Farrell, Henry Paul and Jason Robinson all went on to gain international honours with England after moving from League and, more recently, Chris Ashton and Shontayne Hape are doing all right aren’t they?

Hopefully, given time, Kyle can prove to be to be a hit at Bath.

Read more about Bath Rugby at our club page, including links to ticket information for home games.

Read more from Dan Hipkiss on his Living Rugby blog.

Austin Healey is a regular pundit on ESPN; you can follow him on twitter @IamAustinHealey

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