Former Cronulla champion and current pugilist Paul Gallen has claimed he would love to hang up the gloves after fighting a pair of rugby league legends.

While the 40-year-old is currently readying himself for his final year in the gym, the 2016 premiership skipper claimed that he had his eyes on a trio of names to sign off his stint in the ring.

"I'm looking forward to finishing off my career as an athlete altogether in 2022," Gallen told Wide World of Sports.

"I'm 40 years of age now so I haven't got a lot left in me but a couple of fights this year will be good."

While no concrete plans have been made, Gallen outlined that he held dreams of fighting either Sonny Bill Williams, Sam Burgess or UFC champion Robert Whittaker before the end of the year.

"Sam Burgess keeps getting spoken about… that's one," Gallen said.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 17: Sam Burgess addresses the media during a South Sydney Rabbitohs NRL media opportunity at Redfern Oval on September 17, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

"Rob Whitaker is another one, he was beaten recently in the UFC so that's one we've been talking about, there has been a conversation there."

Given Burgess has never pulled the gloves on in a competitive fight, Gallen is sure to hold a lumber yard worth of wood over the former Souths star.

And while Whittaker is more accustomed to brawling in an octagon, there remains hope that following his latest loss to Kiwi Israel Adesanya, the man with a 24-6 MMA record could well be coaxed into joining Gallen in the ring.

Still, Gallen's number one choice remained a tangle with the popular heavyweight and ex-All Black.

"The big one, the only fight anyone wants to see is Sonny Bill - but he's been running for 10 years and I think he's going to keep running.

"Nothing in the pipeline at this stage but I'm sure as soon as the NRL season finishes a couple of boys will put their hands up, so that'll be good.

"But I wouldn't mind having one before then, possibly two."

CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 09: Sonny Bill Williams looks on prior to a New Zealand All Blacks team photo session on August 9, 2018 in Christchurch, New Zealand. (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

A bout with Sonny Bill has long eluded the Venn diagram of fans that love league and fighting, but with the dual-code star nearing his 37th birthday, these same fanatics have not given up hope.

Williams is currently in training to fight former AFL star Barry Hall in March of this year.

Given Gallen and Hall's 'Code War' fight ended in a majority draw in 2019, the result Hall's latest bout is sure to intrigue many within rugby league circles.

Since making the pivot to professional boxing in 2014, Gallen has ammassed an 11 win, one draw and one loss record, with his only defeat coming at the hands of Justis Huni in June of last year.

The 348-game Shark has racked up victories over former leaguers in Anthony Watts, Bodene Thompson, John Hopoate and current Featherstone-listed player Darcy Lussick.