Top Aussie Rugby League Star Self-Exiles to Jets Training Camp

Published on 25-Jun-2019 by J Square Humboldt

Football - NFL    NFL Daily Update

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Top Aussie Rugby League Star Self-Exiles to Jets Training Camp

The NFL so badly wants to do what its other North American pro sports brethren has done, namely hit it big on the other continents.

Basketball, hockey, and baseball are popular sports at a high level elsewhere in the world.

Gridiron football, for the most part, is still a novelty. That means a hella lotta merchandising bucks are left on the table.


Not so easy when there's still little infrastructure for it in other countries.

Yes, the NFL games in London draw crowds, but few spectators actually go out and play it or have their kids show much interest in doing so.

So, The Shield has figured the obvious:

If international players aren't coming to it, then it'll go to the popular sports elswhere.


That's why it initiated the International Player Pathway Program back in 2016, selecting a few players to participate in training camps each summer with one league division per year being the hosts.

This time around, Australia's rugby league community was shocked to learn one of their top jocks -- Valentine Holmes -- is one of the recruits taking the plunge this year:


Holmes isn't the first big-time rugby dude to give gridiron a shot.

Jarryd Hayne actually made the San Francisco 49ers roster and got into a few regular-season games. However, he ultimately decided his best game was his original game and went back to Oz.

Holmes clearly has the tools for gridiron, and rugby league -- as opposed to rugby union -- uses downs on offense instead of a scrum, making it the closest international sport to gridiron.


For the record, ruggers don't use as much padding as gridiron dudes, but they do wear a more subtle style of shoulder pads:


The key is ruggers tackle with their chests and shoulders, where gridiron players involve their head more, something they're now learning not to do.

However the tackling's done, it appears that Holmes is gonna be a load to bring down:


Gotta say, wheels transfer to any sport.

It's also impressive what dude's doing out there without any blocking.

That may be useful if he ever gets into a Jets practice game, too.