A different ball game

Courtesy of the New York Jets

23rd September 2011, Wellington, New Zealand, Saracens lock, Hayden Smith, fulfils a lifelong ambition to play in the Rugby World Cup as he lines up for the USA against his native Australia. Fast forward 12 months and he’s just made his debut for the New York Jets against the Cleveland Browns as he takes his first steps to a career in the NFL.

As career moves go this is certainly a big one, he’s never played the game before and his previous experiences are from watching it on TV. He is embarking on a move that certainly isn’t the norm for life after rugby and one that only a handful have tried before him.

Smith himself seems incredibly grounded for someone who has arguably taken one of the biggest risks of their career so far: “I’d had it in my head for a long time,

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