Their identities won’t be revealed until the tournament ends on Saturday but American football scouts will approach one player from the Home Nations
Two stars of this Rugby World Cup are to be offered the chance to follow Aussie rugby league ace Jarryd Hayne into the NFL.
American football scouts have spent the last six weeks scouring the tournament and their verdict is that two players – one of them from the Home Nations – have what it takes to make it big Stateside.
Osi Umenyiora, the NFL’s London-born UK ambassador, won’t reveal the identity of the pair as they cannot be approached until after the tournament ends on Saturday.
But he revealed: “No doubt about it, the guys in question are genuine candidates. Their particular skill sets transfer over. We think they will be very good.”
British trio Menelik Watson (Oakland), Jack Crawford (Dallas) and Jay Ajayi (Miami) already play in the NFL, which stages its third game in a month at Wembley on Sunday when Detroit take on Kansas.
Umenyiora, a two-time Superbowl winner, says footwork, angle of tackle and spacial awareness are key qualities and made special mention of All Blacks wing Julian Savea and England flyer Anthony Watson.
“It has been fascinating for me being here at the Rugby World Cup,” he said. “I have been watching closely for players who could potentially translate across as NFL players, and have definitely seen a few.
“Some of the skill sets are similar but what I really look at are: the way the players run, do they have a low centre of gravity? How do they tackle: do they get low and explode into it?
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