Should rugby union be recruiting American Football players?

brixton tower

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I was just thinking about this on the way to work this morning, and with the Springboks expected to be clobbered on their Australasian tour: Why can't we recruit former college gridiron players to come and play rugby union?

The transition has been made before from both rugby codes to gridiron, but has it happened the other way around...and for a professional team?

The NFL teams have cut their rosters, and many of those guys are in their prime, but probably not good enough for the rigors of professional football. Gridiron being a more physical sport, nevermind the protective gear...I'm thinking many of these players, especially linebackers could be excellent in defense. And how about a running back playing wing...many of the current professionals can't fathom the forward pass rule so it shouldn't be too much rocket science for a new recruit.
 

crackersa

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i thought about this for the American rugby and realized that the conditioning of the players is completely different. as pointed out previously, it's about the football players not being able to run a full 80 minutes, most of the defensive team would probably have a heart attack.

second problem is tackling....watch how some of the football players tackle, they like to take the feet out, problem is though if you miss the feet, it's very hard to recover in time and still make a tackle.

the only thing i see that the football players would have going for them is the offensive speed. I remember the one RWC where the American winger outran Habana :D in American football, most wide receivers are required to run what's called the 4''40'. which is 40 yards in 4 seconds (but from a running start and not a standing start).
 

FoXtroT

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i thought about this for the American rugby and realized that the conditioning of the players is completely different. as pointed out previously, it's about the football players not being able to run a full 80 minutes, most of the defensive team would probably have a heart attack.

second problem is tackling....watch how some of the football players tackle, they like to take the feet out, problem is though if you miss the feet, it's very hard to recover in time and still make a tackle.

the only thing i see that the football players would have going for them is the offensive speed. I remember the one RWC where the American winger outran Habana :D in American football, most wide receivers are required to run what's called the 4''40'. which is 40 yards in 4 seconds (but from a running start and not a standing start).

That American winger you refer to was a Zimbo! :D
 

Fulcrum29

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So this thread suggests to alienate even more SA players...
 

Fulcrum29

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the only thing i see that the football players would have going for them is the offensive speed. I remember the one RWC where the American winger outran Habana :D in American football, most wide receivers are required to run what's called the 4''40'. which is 40 yards in 4 seconds (but from a running start and not a standing start).

He is a Zimbabwean, his club is Biarritz and is a active US rugby player. He tried making it in NFL, but ended up in US rugby.

http://www.rugbydump.com/2009/10/1132/zee-ngwenyas-great-hat-trick-against-gloucester

He was hoping to make it big in American Football after his family moved there when he was 16. His transition into professional rugby came almost by accident.

"During the off-season, I played a bit of rugby sevens for Dallas to stay in shape," he said.

"One of the American national coaches saw me and it all went from here. I'd tried my best in American football but they had big boys of 240 pounds who could run almost as fast as I could.

"I didn't think I would make it because I was too light. When I started playing rugby, I didn't have any skills. I could just run."
 

brixton tower

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So this thread suggests to alienate even more SA players...

This thread is hypothetical, forget the politicians for a bit. Hell, if there was a Martian would could handle an oval ball passed to him at lightening speed, I'd want him to play for the Boks.
 

Grubscrew

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NHL players hit 17% harder than NFL players and the average NHL player is 20% smaller than a NFL player.
 

bwana

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NHL players hit 17% harder than NFL players and the average NHL player is 20% smaller than a NFL player.
That's just physics - I don't see rugby matches moving to ice rinks any time soon…
 

OrbitalDawn

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It's an absolute myth that rugby players "run" for 80 minutes. Obviously the discipline required for both sports are different, and that's probably what you're suggesting.

How is it a myth? Locks/flankers run around pretty much the entire time. They have to get to every breakdown.

Players that stay static don't keep their place in the team for long.
 

brixton tower

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How is it a myth? Locks/flankers run around pretty much the entire time. They have to get to every breakdown.

Players that stay static don't keep their place in the team for long.

Hahahahaha. That's a very loose definition of "running around". You know what I meant to say was that they're not running at speed, all the time. So claiming that these okes run for 80 minutes is the stuff of myth...if they did, we'd have rugby players dying of heart attacks.
 

droplet

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It's an absolute myth that rugby players "run" for 80 minutes. Obviously the discipline required for both sports are different, and that's probably what you're suggesting.

rule of thumb at international level: backs cover about 7km in a match; forwards cover about 14km.
 

OrbitalDawn

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Hahahahaha. That's a very loose definition of "running around". You know what I meant to say was that they're not running at speed, all the time. So claiming that these okes run for 80 minutes is the stuff of myth...if they did, we'd have rugby players dying of heart attacks.

Run != always running at full speed.

Oh, and:

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles...04575002852055561406?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http:/

the average amount of time the ball is in play on the field during an NFL game is about 11 minutes.

In other words, if you tally up everything that happens between the time the ball is snapped and the play is whistled dead by the officials, there's barely enough time to prepare a hard-boiled egg. In fact, the average telecast devotes 56% more time to showing replays.

Receivers and cornerbacks run the most at just over one mile a game.

So the backs in rugby run more than 4 times farther, the forwards almost 7 times farther... This while getting knocked around all the time.
 
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FoXtroT

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Run != always running at full speed.

Oh, and:

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles...04575002852055561406?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http:/





So the backs in rugby run more than 4 times farther, the forwards almost 7 times farther... This while getting knocked around all the time.

Wow, I always new they spent very little time actually doing anything but thats insane. To think that most games take 4 hours to finish and they are actually only playing for 11 min of that!
 

Fulcrum29

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To provide the OP with some sauce:

There was a article providing better coverage on this case somewhere in 2012, don't know where it is now, anyway:

http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2013/may/11/us-rugby-union-professional-league-nfl

If a league gets off the ground as soon as 2014, players will be recruited via combines – large-scale trials – and through the development of a scouting network with the help of coaches at leading colleges who can recommend players with potential who are unlikely to be drafted by the NFL. As for the sprinkling of stardust required to attract spectators and media attention, Major League Soccer has shown that a move to North America is appealing to players approaching the end of their careers, some of whom are prepared to take less money than is on offer in Europe in order to live in a glamorous city such as New York. The same goes for coaches.

The European and English rugby clubs are already trialling NFL players. I think this is also mentioned in the above article, didn't read through everything, however it was mentioned in the 2012 plan by the US rugby union to expose those who don't make the NFL cut to rugby in the Northern Hemisphere and then bring them back to be developed.

Another article covering the Saracens:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/ru...-NFL-rejects-looking-for-a-second-chance.html

Saracens to run the rule over NFL rejects looking for a second chance

Mark McCall's side have confirmed that they are sending scouts over to the Twin Cities rugby union try-out of potential converts from American football

Give the US 5-10 years and they might be able to contend in world-class rugby. The Rugby union in Russia is also building up, prior 2010, but Putin is probably going to hinder their chances due to sanctions.
 
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