England rugby hero Wilkinson to the NFL?

Discussion in 'Rugby & Aussie Rules' started by nyrmetros, Nov 27, 2003.

  1. nyrmetros

    nyrmetros New Member

    Feb 7, 2004
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/rugby_union/3242888.stm

    "While most were mesmerized by Jonny Wilkinson's Herculean drop goal in the World Cup final, one pair of eyes probably showed more interest in the England fly-half's handling of routine place kicks.

    Those eyes, belonging to an NFL scout from the San Diego Chargers, were on a mission to Australia to see if our Jonny could cut it as a kicker in the USA.

    To judge by Wilkinson's heroics throughout the tournament, the verdict was likely an unqualified yes.

    All 32 NFL teams will now know about him and it may be only a matter of time before serious offers for his services come in."


    Don't do it Johnny! Avoid the evil temptation of the evil NFL at all costs! :)
     
  2. billyireland

    billyireland Member+

    May 4, 2003
    Sydney, Australia
    I highly doubt there is much truth behind that, or that it will develop. The exact same rumour went aroudn with Irish outhalf Ronan O'Gara to the Dolphins in the spring. Besides, I think plenty of top rugby kickers (e.g: Wilkinson, O'Gara, etc) could easily do fantastic in the NFL. If they can kick from the sidelines and 35-45 yards out at the simultaneously (and a good 50 yards from the middle of hte pitch), I don't see a field goal being much more trouble.
     
  3. sendorange

    sendorange Member+

    Jun 7, 2003
    Bigsoccer.com
    Club:
    Tottenham Hotspur FC
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    Lomu was another one linked to the NFL a few years ago.

    Won't happen, he doesn't need the money or the hassle of moving to America. He can earn more than enough in Rugy now and of course has the added benefit of more worldwide fame.
     
  4. Maczebus

    Maczebus New Member

    Jun 15, 2002
    Which he doesn't actually want.

    It'll never happen. He actually seems to enjoy playing the sport. Sitting on the sidelines for hours on end just to be brought out once every 50 minutes to kick a goal, wouldn't appeal.
     
  5. Doctor Stamen

    Doctor Stamen New Member

    Nov 14, 2001
    In a bag with a cat.
    It would be a waste of his talents. As the best fly-half in the world, he can kick, run, pass and tackle brilliantly. I may be wrong but an American football kicker trots on, gets the ball punts it between the posts, and buggers off. And don't they put the kicks more or less in front of the posts when going for points ?.

    If he wanted easy money, he'd do it. But as he loves rugby, getting involved in the middle of the action, and seems a very quiet guy obsessed with the perfection of his game, I'd be surprised if he did go.
     
  6. soccernutter

    soccernutter Moderator
    Staff Member

    Aug 22, 2001
    Don't drink beer but like cheese
    Club:
    Tottenham Hotspur FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Damn did he make some fantastic tackles in the final for a little guy with a banged up shoulder.
     
  7. Doctor Stamen

    Doctor Stamen New Member

    Nov 14, 2001
    In a bag with a cat.
    And he's got 800 points at international level, about 200 less than the top international points scorer, the Great Neil Jenkins of Pontypridd and Wales. Jenkins got around 80-90 caps for Wales, and took a while to amass the 1000 or so points scored. Wilkinson has around 40-50 caps, and is only 24. Although Jenkins has played in an average to crap Welsh team, whilst Wilkinson has been in a competative to brilliant England team, these stats do show just how great he is.
     
  8. BenReilly

    BenReilly New Member

    Apr 8, 2002
    Worldwide?
     
  9. michaec

    michaec Member

    Arsenal
    England
    May 24, 2001
    Essex
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    He'll be well known in any of the Rugby playing nations at least. I'm no fan of American Football I admit, but I couldn't tell you the name of a single kicker in the game. I'd be hard pushed to name a current quarterback, the only one I can think of is Brett Farve(sp?), presuming he's still playing.
     
  10. Maczebus

    Maczebus New Member

    Jun 15, 2002
    PLus there was that guy who used to kick in his bare feet - or was there more than one?

    And Worldwide? Well kind of.
    Maybe not population wise but geographically not too far away.
    And as opposed to 'domestic fame', which Wilkinson already has in spades (already had before the tournament started) I guess worldwide/international is the next step.
    But as was said before, all of that is just chat. He doesn't seem to want it all. Just the money I guess.
     
  11. eric_appleby

    eric_appleby Member+

    Jun 11, 1999
    Down East
    Club:
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'll tell you what, I'd take this guy as a punter for the Patriots in a heartbeat. Hell, let him play special teams too.
     
  12. Jeff

    Jeff Member

    Apr 14, 1999
    Alexandria, NOVA
    What Eric said. Even without "NFL" experience, he'd probably be better than Ken Walter.

    Other notes, the commentators on the Broncos - Raiders game referred to (Raider punter) Shane Lecler's Rugby kick when he pointed the ball towards the ground on the drop so it will be an end over end kick. Usually quute effective.
     
  13. Craig the Aussie

    Craig the Aussie New Member

    May 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    The "drop punt" is very effective with a rugby or Aussie Rules ball, as they are larger and have relatively rounded ends, unlike a gridiron ball.

    The torpedo or spiral punt used by most NFL kickers is a lot more risky with the other balls - it flies a mile if you hit it right, but is way less accurate.

    I couldn't handle being a kicker - place kicker or punter - in gridiron. The money would be great, but sitting on my backside all the time would drive me nuts.
     
  14. afgrijselijkheid

    Dec 29, 2002
    mokum
    Club:
    AFC Ajax
    didn't san diego punter darren bennett play rugby or aussie rules football?
     
  15. Craig the Aussie

    Craig the Aussie New Member

    May 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Yep

    Played Aussie Rules with Melbourne Demons & West Coast Eagles.

    Was OK, but nothing special.
     
  16. Doctor Stamen

    Doctor Stamen New Member

    Nov 14, 2001
    In a bag with a cat.
    I wonder if the goal kickers for American football could do drop goals in a rugby match ?. It's pretty hard to do properly.
     
  17. skipshady

    skipshady New Member

    Apr 26, 2001
    Orchard St, NYC
    Not without practice, obviously, but placekicking is a completely different skill from dropkicking so I'm not sure if you can really make a comparison.

    As automatic as field goals appear, it is a difficult skill to master and a good placekicker can be employed into his late 30s because there aren't too many adequate replacements around.
     
  18. eric_appleby

    eric_appleby Member+

    Jun 11, 1999
    Down East
    Club:
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Anybody would be better than Walter at this point.
    Hell, I could punt a football farther than 18 freakin yards.
     
  19. Eric B

    Eric B Member

    Feb 21, 2000
    the LBC
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    But he's sure made himself a career here in the NFL.

    I heard that when he first came to the Chargers that he laid someone out in practice. The coaches didn't want him to do that, since punters usually just kick and try to be the last line of defense, which is a bummer, because I'm sure he could stick a returner just as hard as any 5th-string linebacker relegated to special teams, at least in his prime.
     
  20. Eric B

    Eric B Member

    Feb 21, 2000
    the LBC
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    But he's sure made himself a career here in the NFL.

    I heard that when he first came to the Chargers that he laid someone out in practice. The coaches didn't want him to do that, since punters usually just kick and try to be the last line of defense, which is a bummer, because I'm sure he could stick a returner just as hard as any 5th-string linebacker relegated to special teams, at least in his prime.
     
  21. Craig the Aussie

    Craig the Aussie New Member

    May 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    I saw film of him tackling a kick returner one time - everyone seemed to be making a HUGE thing of it. Seems he should of just let the bloke run past him rather than risk an injury.

    If NFL teams are looking for punters there are probably a dozen or more running around in the AFL who would be very good.
     
  22. Doctor Stamen

    Doctor Stamen New Member

    Nov 14, 2001
    In a bag with a cat.
    I just remembered that Gavin Hastings, token decent Scottish back, was the kicker for the Scottish team that played in the European NFL. Still didn't help the game catch on.
     
  23. djwalker

    djwalker BigSoccer Supporter

    Jul 13, 2000
    The 405
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    A kicker who can tackle could revolutionize the position.
     
  24. OldFanatic

    OldFanatic Member

    Jan 12, 2004
    Bay Area
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Bump (to move to the new forum)
     
  25. babytiger2001

    babytiger2001 New Member

    Dec 29, 2000
    Melbourne
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Shudder to think of it, but Ben Graham springs immediately to mind... I shudder at the thought because I'd hate to see him leave Geelong! :eek:

    Benny's said in interviews that I've heard that he's like to test the waters in the NFL in a couple of years or so, and he'd like to play for an NFL team on the west coast.

    That would limit him to Seattle, San Francisco, Oakland and San Diego (and possibly Arizona).

    I'd like to see him sign with the Raiders-- and keep him away from anyone else in our division! :D
     

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