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Sunday 5 February 2023 Dublin: 2°C
YouTube Joel Wilkinson during his time with the Northern Blues in the VFL.
# Code Breaker
Former Aussie Rules player becomes the latest athlete to switch codes to the NFL
America’s game’s quest to go global continues.

THE ARIZONA CARDINALS’ quest to go one better than their NFC Championship Game appearance this year has already begun with the signing of former Gold Coast Suns Aussie Rules player Joel Wilkinson.

If he makes the active roster for next season, the 24-year-old would become the second Australian to grace the NFC West in two years with former rugby league standout Jarryd Hayne playing for the San Francisco 49ers last season.

Wilkinson’s time in the AFL was marred by racist abuse from players and fans and he hasn’t appeared in the top-flight of Aussie Rules since the end of the 2013 season.

However, he wouldn’t be the first Australian to play for the Cardinals. Former Geelong Cats defender Ben Graham became the first Australian to play in a Super Bowl when Arizona lost to Pittsburgh in 2008.

If he makes the grade, it is expected Wilkinson will play in the defensive secondary, most likely at cornerback.

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