Rugby Star Jarryd Hayne Likely to Sign with Detroit Lions (VIDEO)


The Detroit Lions are reportedly close to signing National Rugby League star, Jarryd Hayne. Hayne, 26, announced in October that he was leaving rugby to pursue a career in the NFL. Hayne was in Detroit for a visit with the Lions last week, and is back in the Motor City on Monday to take a physical, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.

The Lions initially denied having interest in Hayne, despite sending team representatives to his first workout in San Diego a few months back. On Monday, head coach Jim Caldwell confirmed Hayne’s visit to Detroit.

"“He was traveling around the country to take a look at different locations in this league and that was one of those visits.”"

Caldwell also downplayed the teams interest in signing the now former rugby star.

"“We take a look at a lot of different people all the time,” Caldwell said. “It’s a constant sort of exploration for us. We’re always trying to look to find ways to improve and we’re looking at every option that’s out there available to us.”"

The 6-foot-2, 225 pound Hayne is unlikely to be added to the teams 53 man active roster, but would likely join the 10 man practice squad instead.

Hayne’s projected position with the Detroit Lions is running back.

Current Lions running back Reggie Bush is a NFL veteran and is known for mentoring younger players. While on a trip to the outback last summer, Bush visited with Hayne and watched some film of the rugby bruiser. According to Bush, he believes Hayne could excel at the NFL level if given an opportunity.

"“I think he’d do pretty well actually,” Bush said. “Because he’s quick, he’s elusive, he’s powerful, he’s fast, he has great vision and those are all the things you need to play running back in the NFL.”"

This is certainly an interesting development coming out of Lions camp at this stage in the regular season.

More from Detroit Lions

The Lions have struggled to run the ball in 2014, but still managed to notch their tenth win of the season last Sunday. It’s also not the first time general manager, Martin Mayhew has brought in unconventional talent.

Prior to the 2013 NFL preseason, Mayhew signed YouTube sensation Havard Rugland to compete for the teams place kicking job. The Lions also signed Carlin Isles, another rugby standout, to the squad last season. Neither Rugland or Isles are currently under contract with the team however.

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