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Jarryd Hayne of the San Francisco 49ers has swapped rugby league for American football.
Jarryd Hayne of the San Francisco 49ers has swapped rugby league for American football.
Image: Ben Margot

There'll be an NFL agent scouting talent at the Rugby World Cup

Jack Bechta is on the lookout for the next Jarryd Hayne.
Aug 28th 2015, 12:30 AM 7,102 6

JACK BECHTA SAYS he’ll be at the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England, keeping an eye out for potential new stars of the NFL.

Bechta is an agent for several NFL players including former Australian rugby league international Jarryd Hayne, who’s now playing with the San Fransisco 49ers.

Hayne — currently in his first-pre-season with the 49ers since switching codes — has made a good impression and is well placed to earn a spot on their final 53-man roster.

Bechta told Fairfax Media that many rugby league agents in Australia have contacted him in relation to other players who could potentially follow Hayne’s lead.

He plans to travel to Australia to suss out the rugby talent — in both league and union — and he’ll also be at the Rugby Union World Cup, which starts next month.

Bechta is hoping to unearth some players who could make it in the NFL but he accepts that it won’t be a conveyor belt, admitting that Hayne’s case is quite rare due to his lifelong desire to play American football professionally.

“I’ve had a few claiming to be scouts and agents reach out to me, willing to give me a list of potential guys who could make it over here,” Bechta said.

“Those types of emails and texts and tweets are coming in. At some point I am going to go over there [Australia] and have a look for sure. I have actually been looking at quite a bit of rugby league lately. I just want to see how things go with Jarryd first before I do anything else.

“If things continue to go well, then it’s definitely something I’m keen to explore. I have been peeking at some more rugby league than I have in the past. I’m paying more attention to who is playing. I’m also looking at rugby union and I’m going to the World Cup in London. But Jarryd is a one in 10,000 player.

“The difference is that Jarryd has dreamt about this. He has visualised it, thought about and sacrificed a lot to chase it. He’s thought long and hard about it for years. You just can’t endure what he’s enduring if you didn’t have his mentality. It takes a lot of mental toughness.”


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Paul Dollery


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