switchskier wrote:Mellsblue wrote:Interesting. I wonder how they’ll go.
I read something somewhere of a small programme, ie one coach with some spare time, at a US college that took basketball players who wouldn’t make it to the pros and tried to turn them into locks or backrow for the college rugby team. Iirc, there was some success. Obvs, no where near pro level.
It’ll be far more difficult to achieve with positions such as 9 or 10 but if they can get people playing rugby at a young age only to stop at college but then come back when the NFL doesn’t come calling....
If you think that Christian Wade is, at best, considered an average athlete at the running back position (his 40 yard dash at the combine was slow for the position) then imagine the type of athletes that could play rugby. George North would just be an average/below average ‘specimen’ in the NFL but he and his ilk are a bit of an outlier in rugby.
It’d pretty much be like Fiji, and it’s freak athletes, but with money in a country obsessed with producing elite athletes.
Different types of athletes and training required though. American football requires huge amounts of power and burst in 10-20 second spurts. It doesn't require the same level of cardio to hit the deck, get up and go again repeatedly, plus handle the ball and make good decisions . If you tried to take football players and immediately make them rugby players then they'd struggle after 20 minutes and by the time their conditioning had adapted then they'd no longer be able to play top level football.
Players tend to know by 20 maybe 21 if they’re going to make it or not. I doubt it would take that long in a pro strength and conditioning environment for them to retrain, especially if they played in high school. A lot of players at college are dual athletes so they might still be able to play rugby. Given some (most in D1) of the college programmes are better funded than even European rugby academies, you could argue their conditioning wouldn’t be that much of an issue and might be better than their age grade contemporaries in the US.
All guesswork, mind.