Super Rugby
Brisbane outfit in for SBW and Cooper
ESPNscrum Staff
April 19, 2011
The Crusaders' Sonny Bill Williams looks for support, Crusaders v Sharks, Super Rugby, Twickenham, England, March 27, 2011
Sonny Bill Williams' future is currently the subject of much speculation © Getty Images

The group behind a proposed Brisbane-based NRL franchise is hoping to secure the services of union stars Sonny Bill Williams and Quade Cooper for their new enterprise.

The Brisbane outfit's application is expected to be confirmed later this year, with a view to actually competing in the NRL in 2013. And, according to Bill Rae, one of the delegates involved in the bid, contact has already been made with Khoder Nasser, who manages both New Zealand centre Williams and Wallabies fly-half Cooper.

"We don't know whether we're in or not, but we have approached Quade and Sonny," he told the Sunday Telegraph. "We want Quade and Sonny Bill to get their World Cup campaigns out of the way first, but once that is done we will up the ante for them.

"We've started talks with these guys and we want them on board. We believe we can offer them a great opportunity to potentially be part of history and obviously they would be the perfect recruits for us.

"We're being realistic about this. At the moment we don't have an NRL licence and the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) will be hard to beat when it comes down to dollars. Because we don't have a history, we need some special talent to build the club from scratch and we'd love to see Quade and Sonny on our wall as the originals."

Williams, of course, made his name in rugby league and Nasser admitted that a return to the 13-man code at some point in the future is a distinct possibility for one of the most coveted athletes in professional sport.

"I can confirm that I have had an approach from the Brisbane bid team," he said. "It's flattering that these people know who the cream of the crop are and want to bring the best of the best to their franchise. Of course (a return to league) is something Sonny will consider, he started his career playing rugby league.

"Quade has a phenomenal passing, running and kicking game and this is a guy who has got one metre to play with. It's been proven by many athletes, including Sonny, that if you are great in rugby league you can be successful in rugby and vice-versa."

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