So much so that agent Jack Bechta is currently camped out at the Rugby World Cup looking for the next dual-sport athlete.
“I’m actively scouting and trying to identify three to five guys who potentially fit the profile of an NFL player,” Bechta said, via ESPN.com. “Rugby players are better-conditioned athletes than NFL players — from a toughness, training standpoint they won’t have any problems making the transfer.”
While Bechta might have hit the lottery with Hayne, there are other players he’s struck out with, like Hayden Smith. Betch believes that only “one out of every five or 10” make it to the NFL and make an impact.
“It is the mental challenge of learning a new game. Under our CBA there are finite opportunities to practice and work with the coaches. It’s very limited,” Betcha said. “In our last CBA the players asked for less training periods so that hurts young players and any players making the transfer.
“In Hayne’s case, I hired the best NFL former coaches and surrounded him with former players and gave him a crash course on the basics before we decided to sign him to a team. You make a substantial investment as an agent into an athlete.”
However, Tonga’s Telusa Veainu would like to be one of those five or 10 dual-sport athletes.
“I’d love to give it a go to challenge myself,” Veainu said, via ABC13.com. “I’d be available, but it depends on where I’m heading, too, and my goals. But depending on where my career’s at, I’d love to give it a shot and probably end up failing at a sport I’m not good at!”
In fact, Veainu is one of eight ruggers profiled by ESPN as possible dual-sport athletes.
This is certainly something worth keeping an eye on in the coming months.
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