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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

NFL star Dhani Jones playing rugby

NFL star Dhani Jones playing rugby

The comparisons between NFL and Rugby will be the subject of discussion for probably as long as the two games exist. Not a lot of top athletes are privileged enough to get the chance to try their hands at both. Until now that is.

Dhani Jones is an American Footballer who spent last season with the Cincinnati Bengals in the NFL. Earlier this year though, Dhani came to Blackheath RFC in London to experience rugby for the first time, and even appeared for them in a cup match against Cornish side Launceston.

Jones is an aspiring television presenter, and thought it would be great to learn more about rugby as part of a new tv show called Dhani Tackles the Globe , in which the 30-year-old American footballer tries new sports.

The tv company making the pilot contacted Blackheath's director of rugby, Harvey Biljon, and requested that Jones visits the club for the experience.

Our players thought it would be fantastic to have a full-time athlete from a top American sport testing himself among our amateurs, Biljon said.

Blackheath, until a couple of recent defeats, were pushing for promotion from National League Two and werent prepared to risk introducing a rookie to competitive rugby in an important league for them.

The cup competition was where the opportunity existed, so a few training sessions later and he was ready, almost. Before training on one occasion, Biljon took Dhani for a jog, passing the ball between them. Try and spin the ball, Biljon told him. Im trying, man, Im trying, was the response.

Jones got his chance to come on as a sub against Launceston and made a few tackles, but most importantly, got a taste of this great game and now knows exactly what rugby is all about.


Time: 4:33 mins

Posted at 2:20 pm | 20 comments

Viewing 20 comments

mo14k March 25, 2008 9:06 pm

He seemed to have picked it up quite well... Must have been a little bit annoying for him to only get the last 10 minutes on, but at the end of the day... Rugby is Awesome!! Whether it's 10 minutes, 80 or 5... when you get to play, you feel invigorated!! What's the deal with him now? Is he going to carry on for a while or just disappear for another sport?

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Kerivoula March 25, 2008 9:08 pm

And your point is "anonymous"????I enjoyed the clip, thanks. 99% of the debate on Rugby vs. NFL/AFL is boring prejudice, but for some better perspective and some related fun, try:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcMs-hWvGNMand http://wesclark.com/rrr/pads_and_helmets.htmlBoth are great sports. Incomparable using any objective criteria, but who cares? Good for debate, great to watch, better to play.

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Nick March 25, 2008 9:21 pm

Never heard of the guy, but he seemed to give it a good go.

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Anonymous March 25, 2008 9:56 pm

blackheath rugby club is right round the corner from where i live and is in teh same league as my club.he did pretty well i thought as he said its quite diffrent, hes use to massive pad's and to grasp the concept of the game etc in 3 training sessions is pretty good.

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ManneBishop March 25, 2008 10:15 pm

he should have played for a whole game, so he would have known how intensive the game is...But he did a good job though

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Don March 25, 2008 11:47 pm

I'd hardly call him a star, but to be honest with you, Rugby is not a hard time to acclimate with if you have had a history with american football...of course vice versa is always easier.

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Cheyanqu March 25, 2008 11:55 pm

Dhani Jones is indeed a "journeyman". That being said, the guy makes more money in player salary than any Union player out there.The guy is also wise enough to start cultivating a career after the NFL.NFL absolutely destroys player bodies, and many players have a limited safety net after retiring.Also funny to see him:1) wear a scrum cap (maybe his long hair)2) catch the ball from a dead stop.. One of those things all new rugby guys must adjust to.

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J March 26, 2008 12:28 am

He joins a growing list of heroes. As for the lack of pads, have you seen the size of his f**king neck???OK he only did 10 minutes, but its all about having a go and being open minded enough to try something new. So fair play.But as far as West Country Ringers go; Jerry Collins will take some beating!

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LLC.No.14 March 26, 2008 4:12 pm

To the above comment..Yeah, i watch NFL and whilst reggie bush is one hell of a runner(hes probably as fast as habana, if not faster) The defensive side of the game will be the bit that needs adjusting too, i think all the NFL players would either struggle with the defence but be fine on offence, or vice versa...depending what position they play in NFLat the end of the day though, if rugby ever became one of the top 3 most players sports in USA..they'd obviously get very good very quickly

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Third Centre March 26, 2008 5:39 pm

Any chance of him playing a bit of Gaelic football ?

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Anonymous March 27, 2008 11:40 pm

its hope for us blokes over here in the US, as we are trying to get some great university athletes that don't quite make the pros.think about he's a bencher on the NFL, put some of the real stars out there and they could burn...won't happen, but a guy can always dream.the league minimum for the NFL is 250K US now...and thats a practice squad player...hmmmmm...

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Anonymous April 01, 2008 10:29 pm

I don't think AF players that aren't good enough to be pro can come over here and start playing rugby... Bit of an insult to our players.He was only playing National 2 standard so stick him in the GP and see him get mashed.

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Anonymous May 13, 2008 12:51 am

Dhani wasnt just some wash up second team player for his football teams he was a full on starter and a good one at that. Now Dhani is from my hometown of maryland. he got a little bit of rugby from my team the exiles when he went to my high school but stopped playing because he was playing football in college. So watch ur mouth. u should be honored to have him play there

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Anonymous June 05, 2008 7:11 am

and his name is pronounced "Duh-Harni", not "Danny"

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Anonymous August 13, 2008 10:24 pm

@Third center-He wouldnt last a minute with our lads!Good to see some americans take up the challenge.I wouldhave thouhg the he would have found it hard stamina wise,cause he rugby there isnt a restart every minute(literaly)

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Brian August 14, 2008 4:35 am

"Dhani wasnt just some wash up second team player for his football teams he was a full on starter and a good one at that. Now Dhani is from my hometown of maryland. he got a little bit of rugby from my team the exiles when he went to my high school but stopped playing because he was playing football in college. So watch ur mouth. u should be honored to have him play there"I played against the exiles this year in the U19 PRU playoffs you didnt happen to be on that team did you small world eh?

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Anonymous August 15, 2008 11:20 pm

not keen on american football at all myself and there are lots of american football players/fans who for some reason or another hate rugby, I say fair play to this Dhani, for a pro american footballer to try rugby earns him my respect, and to adjust to it so quick is pretty good aswell.

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Anonymous March 12, 2009 1:44 am

I played Rugby for ten years at a good level and now play American Football and let me tell you Physically AF players are much better athletes even in the pro's have you seen the size of shawn merriman, Brandon Jacobs etc? and how fast those guys can run and change direction. its amazing

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Anonymous February 28, 2010 10:04 pm

Around 3.38 hes off his feet :P haha good effort tho.

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