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The cross-code Tomkins brothers

John GriffithsNovember 20, 2013
Joel Tomkins found it hard going against Australia © Getty Images
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The Tomkins brothers played international rugby at different codes on the same day in November? Are there any other brothers with similar distinction? Mick O'Leary, England

Joel made his England rugby union debut against Australia at Twickenham on November 2 while brother Sam was playing for England against Ireland at Huddersfield in the Rugby League World Cup.

The Quinnells (Scott for Wales RL) and Craig (for Wales RU) played in the same year - 1995, and the Thornetts (Ken and Dick together for Aus RL) and John (for Australia RU) also played in the same year - 1964.

The closest match appears to be for the Paul brothers, who played internationals at the rival codes two days apart.

Henry Paul played union for England v Canada at Twickenham on November 13 2004 while brother Robbie had played RL for NZ against GB the previous Saturday (November 6 2004) at Huddersfield and against France on the Thursday (November 11 2004) in Carcassonne.

It would be interesting to hear from readers who can provide a closer match - send them, and any other queries, through to here.

John Griffiths is a widely respected rugby historian and is the author of several sports books, a regular contributor to the Daily Telegraph and co-author of the IRB International Rugby Yearbook. He has provided insight for Scrum.com since 1999.

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Writer Bio

John Griffiths is a widely respected rugby historian and is the author of several sports books, a regular contributor to the Daily Telegraph and co-author of the IRB International Rugby Yearbook. He has provided insight for Scrum.com since 1999.

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