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So, as it is silly season for threads, here is a hypothetical to ponder.

Question.  If you could take a hand picked squad of 30 players from the NFL, any 30 at all, and give them access to the best coaches in Rugby League for 2 years, could you produce a team capable of winning Super League or the NRL?

Is it...

Yes, because these would be 30 of the best athletes in the US and their sheer speed, size, strength and athletic talent would build an outstanding Rugby League team.

Or no, because you can't be taught the skills and game management of Rugby League in 2 years, you have to grow up instinctively playing it from childhood. 

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27 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

No, because the RL specific aspects are just too different - especially in the halves/dummy half roles.

The instincts are all different too.

No but more chance of CFL players adapting (Canadian ones) as many have played rugby union.

 

Paul

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No, not a chance. Fitness and conditioning is very specific to the athletes sport. It would take years for many NFL players to become properly conditioned for Rugby League to Super League level. That is before the skills aspect which again takes many years to master. Even some professional RL players are really weak in certain skills areas and that is after playing the sport all of their lives.

I am sure that some individual NFL players could make it in a RL team, the likes of wide receivers as wingers etc, but having a full RL team with the range of skills needed to even compete or win SL or the NRL in 2 years is impossible in my opinion.

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The problem would be around your spine, key skills positions of 1, 6, 7, 9 and 13. You may get some amazingly quick and agile outside backs and some strong forwards but you would always lose games through pure naivety, being out thought and lack of RL instincts.

Saying that, of the those 30 (hand picked) you could easily get a 20-25% success rate in those being good enough to play in SL or even the NRL. That would be pretty impressive in itself.

Edited by Scubby
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I think you'd produce excellent three-quarters and forwards. But they'd only go so far. They wouldn't have the subtle nuances with ball-in-hand to be more than good.

As a team, they wouldn't be much more than mid-table as they'd need good organising halves to create the plays necessary to break down top defences, and their own defence would be way too leaky. They can't just batter their way to victory against the top sides.

So no, they wouldn't. They'd need 10 years at least. Even then, it might be hard to undo done of their instincts developed specifically for a different sport.

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Not a chance,you might get a handful of players who might be able to adjust to a totally different sport at best.

Even two brilliant NRL players Hayne & Holmes who went the other way at the peak of their careers were never quite the same on returning after a relatively short period in the NFL,

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No, because they would struggle to comprehend why the laws of play, which - no doubt - they would have been studying copiously, bore no relation to how the match was refereed!

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44 minutes ago, GUBRATS said:

They wouldn't beat Leigh Miners 

Women 

But they would beat Leigh.

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Visit my photography site www.padge.smugmug.com

Radio 5 Live: Saturday 14 April 2007

Dave Whelan "In Wigan rugby will always be king"

 

This country's wealth was created by men in overalls, it was destroyed by men in suits.

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I'll go against the grain here and say I don't think they'd win the comp in 2 years but could easily hold their own. I get the arguments about it not being as instinctive but a) 2 years of constant training and match practice would do wonders and b) these guys, when joining new squads sometimes have to learn over 300 plays from a playbook. I'd be reasonably confident they could put on a face ball or wedge with a couple of lead runners. 

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2 hours ago, Damien said:

Fitness and conditioning is very specific to the athletes sport. It would take years for many NFL players to become properly conditioned for Rugby League to Super League level.

I think the premise of 2 years would actually be plenty. Those athletes are already in incredible shapes, just not the right kind of shape. So they're starting from a very high baseline, and would in theory have the best S+C coaches and resources to best manage the transition. Changing body composition can only happen so fast, but I think two years is plenty for NFL athletes to accomplish it.

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3 minutes ago, TheReaper said:

I think the premise of 2 years would actually be plenty. Those athletes are already in incredible shapes, just not the right kind of shape. So they're starting from a very high baseline, and would in theory have the best S+C coaches and resources to best manage the transition. Changing body composition can only happen so fast, but I think two years is plenty for NFL athletes to accomplish it.

Im not sure the point of your selective quote and reply, I said some individuals could do it. That is quite different to the question posed.

Players conditioned for either attacking or defensivess plays lasting seconds is nothing like attacking and defending for 80 mins. Many NFL players in various positions would struggle immensely. They are simply not used to making repeated efforts time and again.

Some would be able to transition more easily in less skilled positions. Skillswise they would all certainly struggle. Many NFL players never even catch a ball, make a tackle or make a pass in their own sport.

I think sometimes some people all too quickly look to put down our own players and what they can actually do.

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“I thought, ‘Hey, great I can play football in the United States, sure I can go and play football in Australia’. Then (Moore’s former coach) Dick (Nolan) stopped me and said: ‘No, no, no, no. It’s rugby’,” Moore told the Sydney Morning Herald in 2007.

“I had played rugby one time in college between football seasons, so I didn’t really hesitate … I came down there and started meeting some of the guys and they showed me a few things, and I saw a match on film and then I said, ‘OK, I’m come this far I may as well go all the way’.”

Jarryd Hayne NFL highlights: video, analysis, comparisons with rugby league trailblazer Manfred Moore (foxsports.com.au)

Some pretty good photos in there.

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The 1953 American All Stars touring side won a couple and drew a couple of tour matches in Australia, plus a couple of wins in New Zealand, despite none of them having played Rugby League at all before.

The fitness training of American Footballers will have become much more specialised since then, but would also be to a far, far higher level.

"We are easily breakable, by illness or falling, or a million other ways of leaving this earthly life. We are just so much mashed potato."  Don Estelle

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2 hours ago, Damien said:

Im not sure the point of your selective quote and reply, I said some individuals could do it. That is quite different to the question posed.

Players conditioned for either attacking or defensivess plays lasting seconds is nothing like attacking and defending for 80 mins. Many NFL players in various positions would struggle immensely. They are simply not used to making repeated efforts time and again.

Some would be able to transition more easily in less skilled positions. Skillswise they would all certainly struggle. Many NFL players never even catch a ball, make a tackle or make a pass in their own sport.

I think sometimes some people all too quickly look to put down our own players and what they can actually do.

I selected that part because that's the part I disagreed with and wanted to address. Obviously skills would be much more difficult.

It's "nothing like" in that it uses a different part of cardiovascular fitness. NFL players are still extremely fit, only not the same type of fitness that rugby demands. They also do do this repeatedly, there's only 40 seconds between downs in the NFL I believe it's less time that that in college. You may make 12 plays on a drive, score or give up possession followed your D making an interception, and be right back on the field again. Again, it's not rugby, but it's not 10 seconds followed by full recovery either.

I'm saying that an athlete with a very high level of one type of fitness, will be much faster at transitioning to another type of fitness, than somebody who had zero type of any fitness. They are much closer to it even they have specialized differently.

They know how to work at a goal, they know how to listen to coaches to achieve a goal. They know how to grind. S+C coaches would know how to train them to achieve that goal. Yep, they'd be sucking wind on day one. But two full years is a relatively long time. 

Here's a really good, rugby oriented article about the three types of cardio fitness. One excerpt:

Quote

While rugby IS predominately an anaerobic sport, your body must go back to the oxygen system between bouts of explosive activity. The more aerobically fit you are, the faster you will recover between periods of anaerobic activity, and the slower you will be to go anaerobic. For example, if you have a high level of aerobic fitness, you will able to keep your muscles supplied with oxygen for longer even during anaerobic activity.

 

https://ruckscience.com/learn/how-much-cardio-do-rugby-players-really-need/

Taking the inverse of this, most NFL players would also have a high aerobic base, as it is what their anaerobic bursts are built on. 

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Im unsure, on one hand I get the argument that it would be difficult from a fitness stand point and the skill positions are the spots they would struggle but the sheer size of the players they could put on the field would be enough to dominate most teams. Some of the athletes like Kamra and Henry are going to dominate and the scary thing is they would be playing in the centres. Add in some skills players like Jackson at Fullback and Hurts in the halves and Im pretty sure a team could be put together that would at least be in with a chance of winning the NRL and a team that would dominate in SL.

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I think, as well as the best coaches, you would need an extremely well-orchestrated list of fixtures to work the team up through the levels during those two years, as they will never gain the game 'smarts' (to use an Agarism) just on the training field.

Without knowing too much about NFL, I am fairly sure you could get your team into the physical condition needed in two years and master most of the skills. I think your team would still lack the almost innate correct decision making and composure that you see in the top RL players, which comes from having played the game from being a nipper.

I can confirm 30+ less sales for Scotland vs Italy at Workington, after this afternoons test purchase for the Tonga match, £7.50 is extremely reasonable, however a £2.50 'delivery' fee for a walk in purchase is beyond taking the mickey, good luck with that, it's cheaper on the telly.

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17 hours ago, Dunbar said:

So, as it is silly season for threads, here is a hypothetical to ponder.

Question.  If you could take a hand picked squad of 30 players from the NFL, any 30 at all, and give them access to the best coaches in Rugby League for 2 years, could you produce a team capable of winning Super League or the NRL?

Is it...

Yes, because these would be 30 of the best athletes in the US and their sheer speed, size, strength and athletic talent would build an outstanding Rugby League team.

Or no, because you can't be taught the skills and game management of Rugby League in 2 years, you have to grow up instinctively playing it from childhood. 

Interesting question and one that many I see have dismissed. Sport is littered with examples of players transferring skills to another sport and becoming a success.

Two years might get some to an SL or NRL standard, but I would expect they would not work well as a team together. Not immediately. Plenty I would think could transfer to successfully play Prop, Second Row, Centre, Winger and FB if they were playing in a team of players growing up in the sport.

Edited by Sports Prophet
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Here is my take on in.

In Rugby League, when it comes to athletes we fish in a very small pond.  Certainly in the UK and even in Australia when it is the dominant winter code for much of the country, it is not a huge population.

Then look at the US.  About a million kids play High School football every year (and those are the one's able to get into the High School sides).  Then about 75,000 of them go on to play College football which is exceptionally well coached and professional in every sense of the word bar paying the actual players.  And of these 75,000 about 250 are picked up in the pro draft every year.

So what I am saying is that the athletes in the NFL are better than in Rugby League.  It is simply a matter of selection.  Do we really think the likes of Bateman, Hardaker and Reece Lyne are anywhere close to the type of athletes that the NFL produces?  I even think the top of the tree in the NRL when it comes to athleticism (Tedesco, Tom Trbojevic etc) would start to look very average compared to the type of athletes that you get from picking the top 30 from the NFL.

And 2 years is plenty to change the core fitness of players from the explosive play of the NFL to the more attritional play in Rugby League.  Professional sports people will use of a programme of 3 to 6 months to achieve peak fitness and so 2 years is enough to adapt endurance and strength regimes.

You can also teach core skills, the passing, catching, tackling etc.  And given good coaches and games talented athletes can adapt.

But you cannot teach and pick up the game management in that time so players in 6, 7 & 9 will be sorely lacking in how to manage a game.

You would end up with a team of super athletes vs. a team with very good athletic ability and Rugby League smarts.  I think the latter would win but it wouldn't be a walk over.  Give them 3 to 4 years and plenty of games and it would be very interesting.

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