Rugby America

Rugby News & Views From an American Perspective

On the Hunt For Rugby/Football Players

By Ted Hardy,

About a year ago I had an idea to compile a list of rugby testimonials from NCAA and NFL Football players with rugby experience.

The consensus opinion is that rugby makes better football players. As a rugby community, we already know that. However, the general public, more importantly school administrators, do not know this.

In the ongoing battle to get rugby into schools, we need to take advantage of the fact that every town wants a winning high school football program. Rugby enhances players fitness, toughness, tackling, communication,  and decision making capabilities. All key elements for a successful football team.

To that end, I am currently in the process of compiling a list of players that have experience on a rugby pitch and the football field. I will then contact those players to try to get testimonials about how their rugby experiences enhanced their football skills.

I am also looking for testimonials from football coaches with firsthand experience with rugby improving their team’s performance. I know there was a video on YouTube not too long ago with a football coach that openly praised rugby for his team’s improvement. That is the kind of stuff I’m looking for.

Once compiled, the document will be shared openly with the rugby community to use as a recruiting tool, conversation starter, or use it to drive home your sales pitch to a school administrator.

How can you help?

I need names and if you have contact information that would be even better. If you know of a NCAA or NFL football player that also played rugby let me know. They don’t have to be active players, but more recent ones are preferred.

Same goes for coaches.

If you just have a name, please post it (and the college where they played) in the comments section below.

If you have contact information, please email it to me at

As always, thank you!


8 comments on “On the Hunt For Rugby/Football Players

  1. S. Daniel Mullane
    December 15, 2012

    Hey Ted,

    Sean Cullen played offensive tackle for Oregon Ducks from 2004-2008 then moved to Boston. He played with us at Middlesex Barbarians from 2009-2012. He just moved back home to Chicago and is considering playing for the Lions if he can fit into new work schedule. I didnt have his email saved in my phone but can send to you Monday when I get in work. I’m sure he’d be able to Answer some of your questions of give some comments on the benefit of playing both sports.


    Sent from my iPhone

  2. William Tatham
    December 15, 2012

    All it takes is “Money Honey”…

    Sent from my iPhone

  3. RugbyAmerica
    December 16, 2012

    Mullane, Thanks for the info! It is greatly appreciated.

    Bill, money certainly does help… a lot. In the meantime we’ll work every angle possible to help grow the game. After all, we need as many fans as possible if we’re going to fill seats in both Las Vegas and Los Angeles… and New York and Dallas and Chicago and beyond.

  4. Ray Schwartz
    December 16, 2012

    Some old ruggers who were also NFL players… John Wilbur, Gary Lambert, Richard Tardits. Lots of guys played both when the NFL was more of a part time job. The father of Current Eagle Colin Hawley, Loren, is in the Cal Sports Hall of Fame as both a rugby AND football player.

  5. FrontRow
    December 18, 2012

    You probably already know the obvious names of former rugby players who are now regular starters in the NFL, like Haloti Ngata, Stewart Bradley and Danny Watkins. If you’re looking for testimonials, you can also try to interview Dhani Jones, he is not a former rugby player, but he is an NFL player who tried to play rugby in England as part of a TV show and may have an interesting perspective.

  6. #8
    December 20, 2012

    Didn’t Doug Flutie play rugby? Remember his famous drop kick for an extra point?

  7. Anonymous
    January 9, 2013

    Mike Malan from Brown University. RB in college and pro considerations before playing for Old Blue RFC in NYC. Matt Kalapinski is currently playing for South Shore Anchors (New England), and played for the Miami Dolphins previously. I believe he played at Maryland in college.

  8. Anonymous
    July 9, 2013

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This entry was posted on December 15, 2012 by in Coaching, College Rugby, Editorials, High School/U19 Rugby, Youth Rugby.

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