There are 63 users in the forums

Aussies and Kiwis in the NFL

Tickets Find deals on 49ers games
Val Holmes has been signed to the Jets practice squad.
  • Goatie
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 11,761
Originally posted by Zealot:
Val Holmes has been signed to the Jets practice squad.

He preformed well enough to get that gig. Now he can spend a year learning the game without pressure and wont flame out like Kitty Bitter
They're saying Val is gonna pull the pin on his NFL tilt and go to the NQ Cowboys.
What is it with these "star" Rugby players?
You'd think their skill set would transfer after some adjustment, yet they seem to fold and flee.
Now we are left with just those guys who went through the college system plus Jordan Mailata (on IR with back injury).

https://www.newyorkjets.com/news/valentine-holmes-released-from-jets-practice-squad
https://www.nrl.com/news/2019/11/24/cowboys-sign-valentine-holmes-on-six-year-deal/
Holmes was released by the New York Jets on Saturday after ending his 12-month stint as an international player on their practice squad.
... and that is a load of bollocks. His "stint" started when he was assigned to the jets, and finishes at end of season.

He not only quit on the international players program, but also stopped someone else from having the opportunity.
They have the skills and toughness no doubt. But they just don't have the brains to decipher, study and understand an NFL playbook. No offense to the Kiwis and Ozzies in here.
Originally posted by 808niner4lyphe:
They have the skills and toughness no doubt. But they just don't have the brains to decipher, study and understand an NFL playbook. No offense to the Kiwis and Ozzies in here.

Tough is playing rugby with all the Samoans in Kapiolani park.

I think its just a different style of game. Straight up brute force vs brute force and strategy.
Originally posted by Seattle49er:
Originally posted by 808niner4lyphe:
They have the skills and toughness no doubt. But they just don't have the brains to decipher, study and understand an NFL playbook. No offense to the Kiwis and Ozzies in here.

Tough is playing rugby with all the Samoans in Kapiolani park.

I think its just a different style of game. Straight up brute force vs brute force and strategy.

It is a different type of strategy.
I don't and never have understood the "finer" points of any rugby code being from an AFL state in Oz, but I don't think the playbook itself is the cause of these code hopper failures.
Valentine spent 3 months at IMG with the international pathways program, which is pretty intense, where they cover all that (true, a crash course is not going to be the same as growing up in it).
Maybe it is that when they went over there to the US, they went as "made men" only to find themselves very much not.
In the past, ex-AFL players (Darren Bennett, Sav Rocca et al) went over as punters which only really required technique adjustment.

Still, I think the college path is the best way to do it which takes years of near poverty and no fanfare.
Originally posted by 808niner4lyphe:
They have the skills and toughness no doubt. But they just don't have the brains to decipher, study and understand an NFL playbook. No offense to the Kiwis and Ozzies in here.

Nah, it's just that pure talent and/or athleticism can't make up for a decade or more of actual playing experience, just knowing what to do and when to do it without thinking. It's not that the size or complexity of the playbook is above their intelligence, it's that the nuances are too much to grasp in such a short period. These new comers have to constantly think about what they need to do rather than just doing it naturally. That's something that can only come with plenty of reps over plenty of time.

It would be similar in reverse. American football players would have the strength, speed and physicality (perhaps not the stamina) to play league or union, but you couldn't just bring them over and have them playing the top grade in six months. They'd be totally lost out on the field with the game happening around them while they looked on if you just chucked them out there. We don't have huge playbooks but there is still plenty of strategy and the need to know what and when and where to be constantly during the game. Again, something that only comes through time and experience.

Each nations athletes have amazing skills and talents, but the sports are different enough to make the transition quite difficult when we're talking about playing and competing at the highest level.
A league/union player will never have the understanding of the game if all they give themselves is 12-18 months to figure it out.

After that it becomes a question of whether they want to stick around and be bottom of the food change/potentially cut or go back and earn better money being near the top of the food chain.

It's not easy transferring from one sport to another at the best of times let alone doing it with zero previous experience and a short window to obtain success.
  • Goatie
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 11,761
Originally posted by JaggedJ:
A league/union player will never have the understanding of the game if all they give themselves is 12-18 months to figure it out.

After that it becomes a question of whether they want to stick around and be bottom of the food change/potentially cut or go back and earn better money being near the top of the food chain.

It's not easy transferring from one sport to another at the best of times let alone doing it with zero previous experience and a short window to obtain success.


Sounds about right.

Wishnowsky went threw the college system and he is so far ahead of where Holmes and Hayne were.

If an athletically talented Aussie kid went to the US at around 17/18 and into college playing gridiron he would have a good chance with the draft. Without that path it would just be so much harder.

I know in the eighties and ninties they had an American football league in Australia but I am not sure about if it is still around. I would think they would need to be in something like that in their teens and if showing promise get over into a US college.

  • Goatie
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 11,761
Originally posted by Zealot:
Originally posted by 808niner4lyphe:
They have the skills and toughness no doubt. But they just don't have the brains to decipher, study and understand an NFL playbook. No offense to the Kiwis and Ozzies in here.

Nah, it's just that pure talent and/or athleticism can't make up for a decade or more of actual playing experience, just knowing what to do and when to do it without thinking. It's not that the size or complexity of the playbook is above their intelligence, it's that the nuances are too much to grasp in such a short period. These new comers have to constantly think about what they need to do rather than just doing it naturally. That's something that can only come with plenty of reps over plenty of time.

It would be similar in reverse. American football players would have the strength, speed and physicality (perhaps not the stamina) to play league or union, but you couldn't just bring them over and have them playing the top grade in six months. They'd be totally lost out on the field with the game happening around them while they looked on if you just chucked them out there. We don't have huge playbooks but there is still plenty of strategy and the need to know what and when and where to be constantly during the game. Again, something that only comes through time and experience.

Each nations athletes have amazing skills and talents, but the sports are different enough to make the transition quite difficult when we're talking about playing and competing at the highest level.


There was an NFL player came and played Rugby League, I think in the late 1980s. He was a bit of gimmick and didn't last long. NFL guys don't have the endurance to run around non stop for 80 minutes with no time outs but for 10 minutes at half time, especially the fat D and O line guys. Those blubber bellies would just die after 5 minutes of Rugby League.
The positions union/league players go for require more complexity of understanding. That is what the international pathway programme is supposed to help address, but few teams would be patient enough to take on a project player as eagles did with mailata. They want production now! Which is fair enough.
  • Goatie
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 11,761
Originally posted by Who-is-Hayne:
The positions union/league players go for require more complexity of understanding. That is what the international pathway programme is supposed to help address, but few teams would be patient enough to take on a project player as eagles did with mailata. They want production now! Which is fair enough.


Rugby Union and Rugby Leave have players playing both offense and defense. Everyone is expected to tackle and everyone is expected to run. So even a top end running back would have problems in a rugby code because they just would not have the basics for the style of tackling required to be A grade.

In Aussie rules an NFL guy would have major problems with the short little shorts. No doubt they would spend 3/4s of the game pulling them out of their crack as they could not comprehend playing with a wedgie
Originally posted by Goatie:
There was an NFL player came and played Rugby League, I think in the late 1980s. He was a bit of gimmick and didn't last long. NFL guys don't have the endurance to run around non stop for 80 minutes with no time outs but for 10 minutes at half time, especially the fat D and O line guys. Those blubber bellies would just die after 5 minutes of Rugby League.
There was also a NFL player recently who played international rugby 7s for team USA with some success.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nate_Ebner
  • Goatie
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 11,761
Originally posted by Who-is-Hayne:
Originally posted by Goatie:
There was an NFL player came and played Rugby League, I think in the late 1980s. He was a bit of gimmick and didn't last long. NFL guys don't have the endurance to run around non stop for 80 minutes with no time outs but for 10 minutes at half time, especially the fat D and O line guys. Those blubber bellies would just die after 5 minutes of Rugby League.
There was also a NFL player recently who played international rugby 7s for team USA with some success.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nate_Ebner


Thanks I didn't know that. Good on him.
Share 49erswebzone