Jarryd Hayne’s agent says ‘only 1 out of 10’ rugby players can make it to NFL

By @hoopsdontstop30 on
Jarryd Hayne
Jarryd Hayne’s agent Jack Bechta is looking for the next NFL convert at the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Reuters/Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco 49ers rookie Jarryd Hayne has made his mark not just in Australia, but all over the world after his successful transition from rugby league to NFL. While Hayne’s American football story could start a mass exodus of converts to playing American football, the Aussie’s agent Jack Bechta believes only a few of the many NFL aspirants could make it to the league.

NFL super agent Bechta is at the 2015 Rugby World Cup in search for the next rugby player to follow Hayne’s footsteps, trying to identify “three to five” guys who potentially fit the profile of an American football player. Bechta acknowledged that rugby players “won’t have any problems” making the jump to another football code, but admitted that only the very best could withstand the tough journey towards an NFL dream.

“Only one out of every five or 10 will make it,” Bechta told ESPN. “It is more challenging than people think.”

The RWC has just started, but Bechta may have already found a prospect.

According to Fox Sports, Fijian winger Nemani Nadolo, who displayed a destructive running ability in Fiji’s World Cup opener against England, could be one of the five guys Bechta is looking at. Australia’s fullback Israel Folau could also be the next to make a jump into the NFL with his physical attributes.

Meanwhile, the “Hayne Plane” was grounded in the 49ers second game of the NFL regular season. The Australian sensation only managed limited plays in San Francisco’s 43-18 loss against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

With top running back Carlos Hyde suffering a bruised thigh and a head-knock during the game, and Reggie Bush out with a calf injury, Hayne was expected to get more playing time as running back. However, team coach Jim Tomsula opted to play rookie running back Michael Davis, insisting that Hayne was being looked more as a special teams contributor.

"We think Michael Davis is a good running back,” Tomsula told the Sydney Morning Herald. "Just quite honestly, Jarryd Hayne does more on special teams and different areas for us than Michael."

The 49ers will travel to Phoenix on Sunday to play the Arizona Cardinals, who won their first two games.

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