We recently heard about former Boston College rugby player, Jen Welter being appointed as Inside Linebacker Coach of the Arizona Cardinals, making her the first ever female coach in the NFL. Another rugby convert, Jarryd Hayne, has been hailed as one to watch after taking the field for the San Fransisco 49ers in a preseason fixture over the weekend and immediately making a huge impression on the game.
Formerly of the New South Wales Blues, the 27 year old Fijian International decided to swap the rugby pitch for the gridiron this season and signed for the 49ers, who appear to have won big on their gamble to sign to rugby league star. In his first pre-season appearance, the former NRL MVP racked up 63 yards from 5 carries at Running Back during their 23-10 defeat to The Houston Texans.
The ease of Hayne's transition serves to show just how transferable the skills are between the two sports, leaving no mystery as to why many American Football players are drawn to rugby during or after college. One example of success in the other direction is that of Carlin Isles, the USA Rugby Sevens speedster - formerly of the Detroit Lions - who has proven to be almost impossible to catch in the IRB Sevens Circuit over the past few seasons.
Isles will be chasing Olympic Gold with USA's Rugby Sevens team during next year's Summer Olympics in Rio.