Ex NFL DB Aaron Francisco Ready To Give Rugby A Try

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RWU HQ – There comes a time in every professional athlete’s career when they need to hang up their cleats, sneakers, skates or boots.AF1

For former NFL safety Aaron Francisco, that time was in 2012 when he was waived by the Tennessee Titans on Aug. 31 – less than two months after the team signed him to a one-year deal.

While Francisco was waiting for his next phone call with an opportunity to resurrect his football career, he received a different call. When he picked up the phone ex-NFL player Deuce Lutui, the National Rugby Football League’s Director of Player Development, was on the line. Lutui was reaching out to Francisco with an invitation to fly to Minnesota for the NRFL combine.

So, what did Francisco do? He jumped in head first, not wanting to pass up the opportunity to ignite a another career as a professional athlete.

AF2I didn’t really know what to think about but told him, ‘Yeah, if they pull through I’d love to be part of it,’” Francisco said, according to USA Today. “I didn’t want to be one of those guys who had a shot at something and didn’t take it and it becomes huge and I felt like I missed out.

When Francisco arrived at the combine, he didn’t let the talent scare him and performed the best to his ability.

The talent level was really good, but I also performed really (well),” Francisco said, according to The Digital Universe. “I thought I was one of the better guys there, and that’s what I train for.

As it turns out, Francisco was right – he had a knack for the sport. The former BYU safety’s efforts turned some heads at the combine.

AF3After the combine was over, I think they were supposed to contact us within 30 days after and I hadn’t heard from them in two months,” said the dual-sport athlete. “Then (NRFL director of player recruitment Shawn Zobel) called me one day and said everything was good and they’re getting things started up again and I got really excited about it. I joined (the Red Mountain Rugby) league out here just to learn the game and learn as much as I can.

Screen shot 2015-01-24 at 9.04.53 AMFrancisco will be another player to keep an eye on as the NRFL takes form in the next year or so. According to the USA Today,  Michael Clements, one of the NRFL’s co-founders, is planning to form a squad to play an exhibition match against the Leicester Tigers, with the creation of the league to follow behind shortly after.

That’s it for now. Feel free to comment below, look for and “Like” our Facebook Rugby Wrap Up Page and follow us on Twitter@: RugbyWrapUpDJ Eberle, Junoir BlaberJames Harrington, Jamie Wall, Nick Hall, Jake Frechette, Cody Kuxmann, Jaime Loyd, Karen Ritter and Declan Yeats, respectively.

About DJ Eberle 198 Articles
DJ Eberle is easily the largest of the RWU Team; Offensive Tackle Large. In fact, this Albany native played OT for Western New England University until he graduated in 2014. Like Junoir Blaber, he's moonlights on MeetTheMatts.com. His Dad played prop with Johnathan Wicklow Barberie and Matt McCarthy - who also in a MeetTheMatts.com moonlighter. DJ's cross to bear, however, is his love for the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres. There is hope, though, that his genetic inclination for Rugby, will cure him of that! Follow him on Twitter: @DJEberle66