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From the NRL to the NFL. Jarryd Hayne has chased his dream and succeeded with a contract at the 49ers.

Billions of people are set to tune into Monday's NFL Super Bowl at NRG Stadium in Houston, watching in awe as some of the most skilled athletes in the world do battle in the annual extravaganza. 

But for some, it will not be a celebration, rather a stark reminder of what could have been. 

Only one per cent of college footballers get drafted into the NFL and for many who miss out this is the end of their sporting dreams. 

That equates to thousands of skilled footballers left to find a new career path, and according to Boston Thirteens head coach Robin Peers, this is something NRL clubs should take advantage of. 

Peers knows his rugby league, playing a club record 218 games for English professional side Gateshead Thunder before moving to the USA to take up coaching. 

He now works with former NRL star Dustin Cooper, brother of North Queensland Cowboys enforcer Gavin, with the two coaching Boston in the USARL competition. 

Peers has seen and coached his fair share of college athletes since moving to the USA and he is of the belief that many would be able to make it in the NRL. 

"Less than 300 people get drafted to the NFL every year. That is a lot of talent that misses out," Peers told 

"You'd probably have over 100 college football programs and the majority of the players from these programs miss out on making it to the big time. 

"If NRL clubs can somehow tap into these athletes then they will reap the benefits. 

"It will obviously take time for these athletes to adjust to a new game, but I've found that the majority are very coachable. 

"They've been coached since they were five or six years old so they are willing to learn and adapt to the different skill sets that rugby league has compared to gridiron."

This willingness to learn is something that overseas rugby league sides are already utilising, with newly established League 1 side Toronto Wolfpack doing their best to track down the best of the best. 

Wolfpack leading the way

Home to Parramatta Eels 201-game veteran FuiFui Moimoi, Toronto have been determined to form the best squad possible for their campaign. 

"The Wolfpack is a newly formed Canadian professional rugby league club and they've already shown initiative beyond their years," Peers said.  

"The club is the first of its kind in Canada and they will now play in the League 1 competition based in England. They will be very competitive as well. 

"When the club first came about they were smart and knew about the large amount of talent that misses out on the NFL. 

"The coaching staff travelled across Canada and North American to find this talent and it worked for them, with a couple of former college football players making it through to the trial squad.

"A number of NRL clubs could definitely learn from this. It's a country worth exploring and I'm sure if they came over here in the off-season they'd find some very gifted footballers."

Interestingly, a venture like this would not be a first, with the Newtown Jets shocking the sporting world four decades ago by signing Manfred Moore from the NFL. 

To this day Moore remains the only man in history to score an NFL touchdown and an NRL try. 

The former Newtown Winger played NFL for the San Francisco 49ers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Oakland Raiders and Minnesota Vikings. 

Fresh off a Super Bowl appearance for the Raiders, Moore made history when he ditched the helmet and moved to Australia to play for the Jets in the 1977 NSWRL competition. 

Although only managing four games in the top division, Moore remains proof that gridiron players do have what it takes to make it in the NRL – they just need the opportunity. 

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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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