Sailor keen to represent NRL in the west - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sailor keen to represent NRL in the west

By Adrian Warren 12/11/2009 07:46:37 PM Comments (0)

Retiring NRL star Wendell Sailor has offered to take up the cudgels for his sport against the impending threat of AFL's incursion into rugby league's western Sydney heartland.

Sailor on Thursday announced he was retiring from professional sport after representing Australia in both rugby league and rugby union.

One of Australian sport's most charismatic individuals, Sailor will continue to represent rugby league.

He will work for both the Dragons and NRL in addition to fulfilling media commitments, but also suggested he could be used as a weapon to bolster the code's pre-eminent position in western Sydney.

With a new AFL team starting in that region in 2012 and an A-League football side scheduled to commence in that area from 2011, rugby league will be engaged in a battle to retain its traditional advantage in that area.

"We've got a big fight on our hands in rugby league with the AFL in western Sydney," Sailor told AAP on Thursday.

"Rugby union, I don't think is a threat to us, but the AFL is.

"I want to be instrumental in helping because with my profile and the people knowing who I am, obviously I put myself out there a lot.

"If the NRL wants to use me a lot in the battle over western Sydney, I'm more than happy to go to schools and the community and be out there a fair bit.

"But I think the fact that (NRL chief executive office David Gallop) and his colleagues think I'm going to be a positive influence as an ambassador for the game because I've got a good story to tell.

"Whether it's for the rookies or whether for young guys coming through."

Sailor has already had a victory of sorts over the AFL, beating former Sydney Swans full forward Warwick Capper in a recent boxing bout.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

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