The San Francisco 49ers opening weekend win against the Minnesota Vikings is looking more and more like an aberration after back-to-back shellackings at the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers (43-18) and Arizona Cardinals (47-7). One of the few bright spots on the team has been the play of former rugby star and NFL rookie Jarryd Hayne.
While Colin Kaepernick looked almost clueless in posting a 3.2 quarterback rating against the Cardinals, Hayne showed flashes of the running ability that made him a two-time Player of the Year in Australia’s National Rugby League with the Parramatta Eels.
With the Niners looking worse by the week, they might want to consider raiding the NRL for some more gems. Last week, ESPN ran an article looking at four rugby players that could make an impact in the NFL.
JAMES ROBERTS, GOLD COAST TITANS
James Roberts is far and away the fastest player in the NRL and could form a nice tandem with Carlos Hyde in the 49ers backfield.
DAVID KLEMMER, CANTERBURY-BANKSTOWN BULLDOGS
David Klemmer is a 6’7″ mad dog masquerading as a human. The 21-year-old would be a great addition to any defensive line.
JARED WAEREA-HARGREAVES, SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Jard Waerea-Hargreaves is the consensus strongest man in the NRL. A relentless hitter, he would be a natural fit at outside linebacker.
CAMERON MUNSTER, MELBOURNE STORM
Like Klemmer, Cameron Munster is a relative youngster with tremendous upside. At 6’1″, 196 pounds, the fleet, hard-hitting Munster would make an excellent defensive back or safety candidate.