RWU HQ – While I spent the last couple of weeks focusing on Paul Lasike, a former Brigham Young University rugby standout making his transition into the NFL, I’m now turning my attention to Chris Coyle.
Coyle played football at Arizona State University from 2009-2013, and also spent some time on the university’s rugby team. But football was Coyle’s main sport in college.
He was stud tight end for the university, but found himself out of the NFL after a brief training camp stint with the Houston Texans last summer.
And according to the Arizona Republic, Coyle’s giving rugby another shot.
“When I got hurt, it kept me out about five days. But the NFL moves so fast, and that’s enough time to fall far behind,” Coyle told the Arizona Republic’s Dan Bickley. And I fell to the bottom of the totem pole. But I don’t have any hard feelings against that organization. I had an opportunity and I felt like I did a good job with it. I have no regrets. It just wasn’t meant to be.”
The two-time All-Pac-12 tight end has left the United States to play for the Aquis Brumbies, the Australian-based Super Rugby team.
“There’s such a connection between the two sports,” Coyle said. “And at first, I just used my athleticism. I used the things I knew from football, my route running skills and my ball-carrying skills. But now, there’s so many times when I’ll use a technique from football for leverage in rugby, or something like that.”
Luckily for Coyle, the former ASU star had his university by his side when times got tough in the NFL.
“He told me there was a team in Australia that was interested in training me to become a (professional) rugby player,” said the dual-sport athlete. “He explained the opportunities, that I could have a good future in rugby overseas. He said a lot of ex-football players could be doing it, but they don’t take the risk and give it a shot. There are so many places you can end up, with a lot of great financial opportunities because the sport is so popular in other areas of the world.”
Now almost a year later, Coyle’s back playing and training with one of the best teams in Super Rugby. That’s quite a turnaround from last August.
Coyle’s first day of training with the Brumbies was on May 10.
That’s all for now!
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