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Five Players who could swap the RWC for the NFL

Former rugby league star Jarryd Hayne is hopping to embark on a career in the NFL in America after swapping Sydney for San Francisco and it got us thinking about which homegrown rugby union stars could make the transition to gridiron. Here’s five Irish stars that we think could make the grade stateside.

JOHNNY SEXTON Johnny Sexton NFL piece

We’ll start with the Quarterback role and it has to be the returning Leinster out-half. Sexton has no problem trying his hand on foreign soil and his combination of vision, athleticism and calm under pressure make him potentially the finest Irish QB since a certain Brady fella.

SIMON ZEBO

The Munster wing has already proved adept at taking on one iconic American role so we think he could definitely convert to the position of Wide Receiver with ease. Great hands, quick thinking, power and pace – Zebo is the perfect candidate to become the next Antonio Brown.

ROBBIE HENSHAW 

Another player we could see in the offensive backfield Henshaw’s is quick, agile, elusive and is no slouch in the blocking department either. The new golden boy of Irish rugby has the talent to flourish in a number of roles and we think he could slot in as a punt returner on occasion too.

JAMIE HEASLIP

The JJ Watt of the defence? Heaslip may need to bulk up a bit to match the potential future Hall of Famer but we think that the Leinster ace has what it takes to match Watt as a beast on the pitch. What Quarterback would relish Heaslip breaking through the offensive line on a rampage? We can’t imagine Peyton Manning would be hanging around too long if they saw the Irish number 8 bearing down on him.

PETER O’MAHONY

The 6’3″ O’Mahony has developed into a real leader and we see him making a big impact in the NFL. He has the tackling, coverage and run defense gifts needed in abundance and we think he’s the perfect replacement for Luke Kuechly if he ever decides to move on from the Panthers.

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