Rugby star gets interest from NFL teams

NFL teams including the Broncos and Bills have expressed some interest in Austrailian rugby star Greg Inglis, according to the Sunday Mail in Australia.

The 23-year-old won the “Golden Boot” award as the best rugby player in the world last year.  He likely would just get a tryout, and he seems likely to continue playing rugby for the immediate future.

If Inglis tried to cross over, the 238-pounder would probably try out as a kick returner and linebacker.

“I know for a fact, if Greg was keen, there would be four clubs who would
take him tomorrow,” said Cameron McGillivray, who works for an Australian Academy that helps prepare players — mostly kickers and punters — to prepare for American football.

“They’ve got some scouts out here and a few of the scouts thought Greg
would be a sensation in the game,” Melbourne Storm manager Allan Gainey said.

(Thanks to Mac’s football blog passing this link along.)

59 responses to “Rugby star gets interest from NFL teams

  1. Umm Rugby? Sorry but the professional player’s arent near as big or as strong or as fast as Football Players.. Sure it’s a rough sport but there is a reason why we have pads in Football and the don’t wear them in Rugby.. This guy would get his head rocked on special teams..

  2. Let’s see. Buffalo, Cleveland, Sydney, hmmmm. That’s what happens when you play football without a helmet.

  3. Stupid.. Rugby is a stupid sport like soccer! these guys should stay overseas

  4. OG David Dixon started out as a rugby player and he was plenty big and strong at 6’5″ 340lbs.

  5. I’d be interested in seeing this happen. A lot of arguments happen between rugby and football fans about which sport is tough and could rugby players transition to the NFL.
    To see it in the process of happening through this one guy would be good to see.

  6. Actually Greg Inglis has the physical ability to play in the NFL.
    I don’t think he’d play LB. He’d be a good RB, WR or TE. He is a big unit, he is very quick and his ball handling is incredible. Not to mention that he can change direction and palm off easily.

  7. False. I am the first person to appreciate football over rugby, but having played both, the levels of athleticism and toughness are comparable. Granted, the elite players in the NFL (The Mario Williamses and Ray Lewises of the world) are unmatched by anything in Rugby. But we are talking about the best player in the world here.
    That being said,
    If he actually plays kick returner he could be dangerous, he weighs 238, there are very few kick returners in the nfl over 220, 215. While he wouldnt have highlight speed, you could be assured of two things, He definitely will be one of the better tacklers out there and he wont ever fumble the ball.
    Being a diehard broncos fan all of my life I would absolutely love to see this kid on my team, he’s young and if nothing else, he would be entertaining to watch. Most likely he would make more than just a splash though. Football is a great sport for athletes of other kinds to transfer into, just ask Toby Gerhart or Ndamakung Suh from this years draft.
    Dont talk about things you dont know, because If he joins the broncos Ill definitely be buying a jersey, and you better hope he doesnt start against your team haha

  8. He may not be strong enough but he has been charged over the alleged assault of his girlfriend… this should make him a football player

  9. @Cinncinnasty….
    You are an idiot. I think that you are thinking of soccer. Didn’t you read the “238 lb. kick returner analogy”? These guys are huge and they run like the wind.
    These guys time extremely well and they are every bit as strong as an NFL player. True, most of them don’t have the 60 lbs. of pure fat that most OL do but that can be added in “training”.
    Pull your head out of your ass and watch ESPN 2 once in awhile before making a stupid comment like that.
    Cinncinnati…..go figure.
    The real hurdle is the fact

  10. The only people who say rugby players aren’t tough enough for football have obviously never played rugby.

  11. I don’t think the physical aspect would be the issue; world class rugby players from NZ, SA and AUS are the biggest, fastest athletes in their countries much like NFL players are here. The issue would be the completely different style of play; there is no blocking in rugby so as an LB Inglis would have to learn to fight through the wash of blockers, something that would just not be very instinctual. He would be better served a ball carrier but once again reading blocks would be totally foreign to him.
    But there is precedent; Richard Tardits played for the under21 French national side then had a great career at UGA as a DE then a short NFL stint as LB with the Cards and Pats.

  12. I love football a lot more than rugby, but you are a moron if you think that Rugby players would get tossed around in the NFL. Rugby is a much tougher sport and there athleticism is second to very few. Not as big, strong, or fast??????? Im not even going to watse my time anymore on this one, you are far to ignorant.

  13. It would be good for the sport to put a Aussie a team. Create more international attetion for NFL.

  14. Cincinnasty , don’t believe what you saw on “Invictus”. If you ever get a chance to go watch an international side like the All Blacks play you’ll see they’re every bit as big and fast as NFL players.

  15. You obviously have never played rugby or know the laws (no, they’re not called “rules”). 90-minute games, non-stop play with only a 10-minute “halfime”? Rugby players have more stamina than your best RB in the NFL. Rugby players are also better at open field tackles than most NFL players. A tackle in rugby means you are still with the ball carrier when he goes to the ground, not just because you stuck your arm out to slow the runner down and he fell, or you happen to catch the runner’s foot as he ran past you. I’m love the Broncos and if Greg wants to try to convert, I’d love to see him on defense and/or special teams. Sounds like Greg is about the same size as most LBs anyway.

  16. I really hope he isn’t like the rest of the world who thinks football players are bitches because of padding. It’s a whole different style of play dumbasses!!

  17. …man, most rugby guys would kick ass in football – even the gay guy – which makes me throw up in my mouth a bit – is better trained than alot of nfl guys – especially those in say – minnesota

  18. First of to Greg Rosenthal; The Golden boot award is a Rugby League Award, so Im not sure it makes him the best rugby player in the world, still a great achievment.
    2nd Rugby is a great sport and i disagree with rugby players couldnt handle the NFL. i will add that League players in the past have not faired to well converting to Rugby Union. Some have, but for the most part most rugby League players dont convert to easily. I would say the Rugby Union would transfer much better to the NFL then Rugby League does. He would be better off trying to go Rugby union for a year or or two to see if he can get a better idea if he can convert to American Football.
    If anybody has any doubt as to how physical the sport is feel free to Youtube the State of Origin series and Im sure you will STFU real quick.

  19. Oh sweet so he can come get a girlfriend over here and beat her ass like he did to his girfriend over there.

  20. Yeah great news for NFL Europe fans. The aussies love their sport and show the cards nationally because ben graham punts for them. Punts for them ffs!
    It’s great news because those are streamed and can be viewed in Europe.

  21. He’s not even a real rugby player. League is like rugby for kids.

  22. He probably has the physical strength, but then you could find a guy that would in almost any gym.
    It’s about knowing the game.

  23. It would be good for the sport to put a Aussie a team. Create more international attetion for NFL.

  24. I’ve played both and I have to say as playing them both here in the states, I wasn’t impressed by the athleticism by any of the US Rugby players I played with or against (they thought I was a dynamo) because I saw rugby as a sport for guys that were too slow to play soccer, and too small to play football. They all looked like miniatures OGs and LBs… but in the Pacific Island countries… you’d better look out. Those guys are big, fast, and tough. They have stamina, speed, and are fearless. You put an international rugby player in pads and he thinks he’s indestructible (no pansies there, juking and running behind blockers is not allowed).
    There’s been more than just a few former rugby players to make it into the NFL, Tardits, Dixon, there’s a punter now playing somewhere (Jet’s maybe) and former Chargers punter Darren Bennett would take your head off and was a definite plus in the coverage units. These guys can play if they know what they are doing.

  25. Cincinnasty says:
    May 15, 2010 1:15 PM
    Umm Rugby? Sorry but the professional player’s arent near as big or as strong or as fast as Football Players.. Sure it’s a rough sport but there is a reason why we have pads in Football and the don’t wear them in Rugby.. This guy would get his head rocked on special teams..
    Are you serious? Go watch real rugby than come back not appearing so ignorant

  26. I guess the Roethlisberger, LT, and Cushing stories have all petered out.
    Florio, Rosenthal, Smith, etc. are probably all at home right now just begging for another scandal to hit so they can beat it to death.

  27. This guy would probably make one helluva strong safety.
    He certainly knows how to tackle, and isn’t afraid to put his head into it, like a lot of rhese wimpy corner backs we have in the NFL!
    Someone who knows how to make an open field tackle would be refreshing!

  28. lets also not forget that inglis is a rubgy league player.
    now that the scrum is barely contested in rugby league these days there is no real need for 19 stone (260lbs+) forwards (though there are still a few in captivity) because of this, players have got slightly smaller and a more dynamic.
    in rugby union, which i think most of you will be more familiar with you will find a much greater variation in player sizes depending upon which position they play.
    the main obstacle for inglis would be the nuances and structure of american football such as pass patterns, snap count, pass blocking and the like.
    fitness would not be a problem. many league players go the whole 80 minutes

  29. He looks semifast in these videos because his opposition is not that fast. I guarantee he’d be nothing more then a TE prospect. Not a RB or WR.
    Alexander is 300 pounds. This rugby guy getting hit like that would be a totally different story. He looks like the biggest guy on the field in those videos. He’d be about average in the NFL.

  30. cincinnasty youre an idiot. Rugby is legit, ive been playing it for a few years now overseas. Ive been tackled with pads, but i never expected what it felt like to get laid out by nasty lookin prop forward..

  31. He’s out running Australian Rugby players. How that jives with the speed of the NFL is the biggest question!

  32. Sorry but rugby players are as strong as NFL players. Differences are that they don’t wear pads and helmets to protect themselves, they are not juiced like football players, and their cardio is much stronger due to the different type of effort.

  33. Guys, they’re completely different sports. The rugby guys are tough as nails, and great at what they do. The NFL players are the best (American) football players in the world. Transitioning from one to the other would be nothing short of amazing and entertaining. Played 14 years, and I know without a doubt that my style of play would have damaged me for life……………ok, it did it here anyway. Different game, different athletes…………no dis needed either way

  34. Rugby is a tough sport, but it is not like the NFL all he needs is one WELCOME TO THE NFL hit and man who knows.

  35. GurpBadesha says:
    May 15, 2010 1:20 PM
    Stupid.. Rugby is a stupid sport like soccer! these guys should stay overseas
    Cincinnasty says:
    May 15, 2010 1:15 PM
    Umm Rugby? Sorry but the professional player’s arent near as big or as strong or as fast as Football Players.. Sure it’s a rough sport but there is a reason why we have pads in Football and the don’t wear them in Rugby.. This guy would get his head rocked on special teams
    @ Cincinasty/GurpBadesha,
    Ummm you guys may want to consider THINKING before you type out your ignorant garbage.
    Rugby guys train every bit as hard, are as strong, and hit as hard as football players. The only thing rugby teans don’t have are lard-ass lineman.
    Try watching ESPN@ or better yet try playing rugby yourself and see for yourself.
    Same goes for soccer, although they have to have different skill sets.
    Please THINK about what you are saying before typing inane garbage. Your just making yourselves seem ignorant and stupid.

  36. Having watched and played union for 15 years and counting ‘football’ as one of my fAvourite sports I feel somewhat qualified to comment. In my opinion I don’t think it’s feasible to transfer from rugby to the NFL or vice versa except for maybe peripheral positions. at 22 he’s too old to try and start playing linebacker or any other core position. I don’t think it’s feasible, he’s far more likely to switch codes to union.
    As to which sport is tougher/skilled/whatever. The levels of aerobic fitness are far greater in rugby due to the continuity of the game, a major reason why highly strung NFL athletes would have trouble switching. The hits in the NFL I would say tend to be harder but more players are exposed to big hits in rugby due to the fact that anyone is more likely to handle the ball.
    Despite both sports, especially the union code of rugby, having a great degree of specialisation, the nfl’s greater degree leads to the obvious conclusion that rugby players are more athletically rounded but far less explosive specimins.
    When it comes to kicking, I’m convinced that some of rugby’s best kickers could easily make it in the NFL and a few could double up as punters and save a team a roster spot, but that is neither here nor there cos who gives a crap about kickers.

  37. While Rugby and Football are two different sports, I disagree with a lot of you thinking a rugby player would not stand a chance on a football field.
    First off, let me say, that I have both played rugby and football on a college level…
    There are plenty of rugby players who are just as fast, if not faster then football players. Rugby does not get a lot of press in America, therefor a lot of stars never get mentioned over here.
    When I played in college, we had a guy from Kenya on our team. We called him Kenny because he native name was hard to pronounce. He had the same build as Usain Bolt, and his jogging speed easily matched a normal persons running speed. He did not have the best hands, but if he got the skin in his hands and had a clear path he could easily beat everyone on the field.
    Another thing you might not realize is how well conditioned Rugby players are. There are little breaks in the game, and unlike football, you don’t get to wait 5-6 minutes for commercial breaks. Play only stops for penalties, not between every play. A match lasts for 80 minutes broken down into two 40 minute halves with a 10 minute break during halftime
    Have any of you been on a field, running back and forth, till your mouth is so dry it induces dry heaving? Rugby players are just as mentally tough as football players, and probably have better endurance. ( the field is 110 yards long and 75 yard wide )
    And suggesting that rugby is “soft” because they don’t need pads? I would love to see you support that statement. I broke my nose playing rugby, and I also broke someones collar bone.
    In Rugby, its common to use electrical tape to tape your ears to the side of your head so they don’t get torn off in a scrum, its also legal to rake the button of your cleats along another players body.
    Take a look at some of these hits in Rugby and tell me Rugby players are not tough enough…

  38. GO ALL BLACKS ! …if ya want real toughness forget about Ozzies and get with Kiwis

  39. If Rugby players are comparable wouldnt there be MORE in the NFL? The issue has more to do with toughness and physicality declining in the NFL (arm tacklers in particular). There’s no doubting that Rugby players are tough. Maybe the league needs to bring that mentality.

  40. No way can this guy play LB in the NFL. How in the hell is he going to have the ability/instincts to make reads and drops when the offense throws the ball? How many life-long football players could not make the transition from DE to LB? Play-action would expose him and god forbid having him on the field if there is a draw or a screen called. Lost.
    The first thing I do when I break down game film is to look at personnel mismatches. An NFL coordinator (who has more talent and experience than my decade in coaching) would abuse him. Even special teams would be a difficult transition, given the misunderstood complexity of kick/return schemes and assignments.

  41. Hey this guys really good ive seen him on tv and he is a real playmaker

  42. @ Ondergin- I agree, personally I would want to see his head get knocked off so it would show rugby fans just how rough football really is.

  43. Rugby is brutal, I don’t know what you guys are talking about.
    I always wondered why NFL teams don’t make more of an effort to dig for talent overseas in some of these premiere rugby players. There’s got to be some dudes who could walk in tomorrow and be kicking azz at RB at the very least by September. The skills are very transferable. This wouldn’t work for WR, QB, CB and some other positions that require really polished skill and technique whose functions are totally different from anything in rugby. But there’s gotta be some rugby players who could excel at RB or get after the QB or play TE, LB or whatever. The only reason these guys play rugby and not football has nothing to do with toughness. It’s just simply that that’s the sport where they grew up and football isn’t an option.
    I guess the biggest question is whether or not these guys — the supremely talented ones — would even want to give up their sport to move to the U.S. and play a completely different game.

  44. As several of the previous posts have mentioned, Inglis is a Rugby League player as opposed to a Rugby (Union) player. The rules are different. The most obvious difference is that there are basically no scrums in league. Also, kicking plays more of a strategic role in union.
    Many of these guys in both league and union are fantastic athletes. They are also, without question, the best tacklers in the world. The rules in tackling are very precise, and if you tackle improperly, you will be penalized. Also, there is absolutely no arguing with the referees or fighting. You do that and you are GONE, and not necessarily for just that match.
    It is amazing to see these guys playing without helmets, padding, etc. I am convinced, though I have no statistics, that most of the football injuries are caused by the equipment. There are injuries in rugby league, but they are not as prevalent or as severe as those in the NFL.
    I have watched Inglis for several years and had no idea he was 6’5″ and 238 pounds. He just seemed too quick to be that size.
    A previous post also noted that the rugby players are in great shape because there are no rests — especially in league. These guys are running at full speed for 40 minutes and then another 40 minutes. Their kicking skills are also outstanding — as are the Aussie Rules Football players (there are 3 retired Aussie Rules players currently punting in the NFL).
    One of the reasons that we don’t see these guys come to the US is because they are being paid very very well in Australia and New Zealand. Try to watch the better teams at the World Cup (All-Blacks, Wallabies, Springboks, England, and France). Argentina, of all places, is really improving their rugby skills. But, remember, watching rugby between two average teams is the excitement equivalent of watching the Mariners play the Pirates.
    To turn the table, I think only NFL running backs, wide receivers, tight ends, defensive backs, and some linebackers could be stars in rugby. Our linemen would have no chance after the first 5 minutes, whereas a star like the captain of the South African Springboks, Victor Matfield (6’7″, 240), can run all day — can hit all day — and can carry the ball all day.

  45. 2 different sports, and “big hits” in rugby generally are by using the forearm to the face, obviously ineffective in football. Rugby usually has one guy delivering the blow, with pads both are coming to lay the wood.

  46. I played for a very strong football program in high school, and went to a college with no team. So I tried rugby, and played for 13 years (2 full seasons, spring and fall, each year). The size, speed, toughness, and athleticism of top rugby players is very impressive. I think the reasons you don’t see many great rugby players in the NFL are:
    1. There probably isn’t a lot of scouting done in Aus.
    2. The top players are very well paid.
    3. Changing to a somewhat different sport and playing at the highest level requires more than just the athleticism and toughness. There are many things a player does that is a result of long developed instincts, something you simply can’t have right away.
    I was a much better rugby player at 30, and played at a more competitive level than I did when I was 20, even though I was bigger, stronger, faster, and less injured at 20. Experience and instinct made the difference.

  47. Really appreciating the discussion as an Aussie with huge love for both rugby and football(american of course!)
    A few thoughts of my own…
    – completely different structured games, I just can’t see how a rugby league player could translate their reactions and thinking into football AT AN ELITE LEVEL…I mean there are hundreds of thousands of amazing athletes in US who never make it pro, no matter if you’ve got the physique/speed I couldn’t see everything else just coming naturally if you haven’t played/developed these skills from a young age. Could he play for a college first and build up from there? Oops, that’d involve a pay cut right;)
    – Conversely, I’d love to see some footballers (especially running backs) come and play rugby league (a lot more structure than rugby union – this distinction is important). To see Peterson or Chris Johnson with their lightning pace and agility would be mindblowing.
    Good Luck Greg, love to see you make it. Here’s to dreaming of an Aussie NFL franchise one day!!!!

  48. Greg inglis is clearly a great player, a legend in Rugby League in Australia. He would be able to excell in any game he so chooses to play in. He is a unit, and an athlete, so don’t dis Greg Inglis, he may have done some bad things off the field but he has made up for it on the field and is remorsful for his actions off the field. So pretty much, he’s a great Rugby league player and if he decides to play NFL he will be great at that aswell.

  49. so this guy has “off-field” issues. Y is he not recieving the “Dez Bryant Treatment”

  50. Many of the previous points are on the money–Ruggers have exceptional endurance, toughness, athleticism, and instincts (their plays are not pre-planned, they must read, react, strategize, and make plays on the fly, in the course of continuous play–not in a huddle beforehand).
    I’ve always wanted to see NFL teams bring in and develop rugby players for one reason alone–the ability to make brilliant laterals.
    In the NFL, you see those end-of-the-game desperation laterals, where NFL players tend to clumsily chuck the ball backwards like awkward Down’s Syndromed baboons trying to crack open a coconut.
    But I’d LOVE to see some professional ruggers running a package of well-executed, pre-planned options and laterals. I think it could do some real damage, because NFL players aren’t as accustomed to defending against the lateral.
    On the other hand, I don’t think many ruggers are that interested in joining the NFL because, simply–rugby is the better game TO PLAY.
    (Now which is better to watch? That’s debatable–they both have their merits).
    One final thing to share, an old saying in rugby (when we’d run into football–or lacrosse–players out in the bars, at parties, etc):
    “Only GIRLS and FOOTBALL PLAYERS wear pads”.

  51. Inglis only hit his Girlfriend because she was gonna kill herself btw , he is a monster and with training and the drugs that we all know NFL possess (here in aus for performance enhancing Drugs you get a 2 year ban first offense and they can randomly test sometimes in the middle of the night)
    he could be a Pro bowler in 2-3 years.

  52. I’ve read the opinions here and many of them are very interesting. As many of you guys have said, rugby union players, rugby league players and NFL players are fantastic athletes. In fact many rugby players have much more stamina than other sports players. But I think rugby is a much tougher game in many aspects. First and the most obvious, the gear, the pads. In rugby we don’t use it. (Just in these last years they are starting to use a little pads). Second, in american football when you make contact or being tackled, you went to the ground and the game is stopped. In rubgy union the play will continue after de contact and the hit, many players will crush you and hit you again in a play called ruck, and you will have to get up a continue. Does this prepare you for the NFL?…I don’t know. It would be interesting to find out the answer. For sure there is some ex rugby player playing in the NFL but we don’t know.
    But the great advantage that NFL over the rugby world is: They are professionals since 1892. RugbyUnion is a professional sports since 1995. Right now rugby union is discovering this world and south africans and new zelands as australians they are developing this kind of players that could rock any league.

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