By David Long
Paul Gallen has called out Sonny Bill Williams to get into the boxing ring with him next year.
The Cronulla Sharks captain will fight Warriors back-rower Bodene Thompson in Auckland in November but, on Australian TV on Thursday, Gallen said he wanted to take on Williams in 2016.
"Probably not the next six months," Gallen told Fox Sports.
"Sonny's got the World Cup coming up and the Olympics.
"It's something I certainly want to do and the people want to see so hopefully in the future in the next 12 months we'll see it happen."
A fight between the New South Wales and Kangaroos star and Williams would certainly be a high-profile bout and attract a pay-per-view crowd.
However, Gallen would be at a significant physical disadvantage – he is 14cm shorter and five kilograms lighter than the more experienced Williams.
Williams' last fight was in January when he defeated American Chauncy Welliver in a unanimous decision.
The undefeated All Blacks midfielder has seven wins in the ring and is a former NZPBA heavyweight champion and WBA international heavyweight champion.
Although Williams has largely put boxing behind rugby and league over the last couple of years, it does remain a passion for him although whether he'd have time to spend training for a fight against Gallen with his sevens commitments is unknown.
However, Gallen hopes that Williams can find space in his diary to take him on next year.
Gallen has had three fights as a professional and, like Williams, is unbeaten.
To prepare for his upcoming fight, which may be cancelled if Thompson makes the Kiwis squad for their tour to England, Gallen has enlisted Daniel Geale's trainer, Graham Shaw. But, because of injuries and an intense rugby league season, he hasn't been able to spend much time in the ring yet.
"He's taught me a lot," Gallen said of Shaw.
"We've done about three or four sessions all year.
"Once my ankle gets better we'll start training next year."