T Nation

Rugby vs American Football


Are any other football fans watching the Rugby World Cup in total amazement? In my neck of the woods, I get to see rugby every four years. And this is the first time that I take notice. I've been coaching football at the high school level for the past 20 years. I love the sport but here is where I envy Rugby.

Game rythme Rugby is almost non-stop action. No 20 second huddles, time-outs, TV time-outs, replays... Imagine football always on 'hurry-up' mode. I could see that.

It's a player controlled sport No small army of coaches giving input on each plays. Kill the offensive and defensive coordinators in football and let the players make decisions.

Gear free contact Different tackling techniques. Just as spectacular. I wouldn't go gear free in football. But I admire the simplicity.

As mentioned before, I'm passionate about football. But watching rugby got me thinking about football's evolution as sport. Anybody else?


I watched my first full American Football match last year. I was very amazed that the teams had so many players, that they had different coaches for each zone, that there were so many breaks and even rules like "three attempts to cross X line".

That's way too slow and technical for my taste.


I am going to leave this here before this thread goes full retard. (Believe me, it's going to happen - this thread pops up every couple of months.)

Hugh Jackman, as big of a tool that he is, said it best:

"Bigger, stronger, and faster people play football, but people who have more "overall athleticism" play Rugby."

It's the closest thing to correct I've seen. In the end, who gives a fuck. Every sport requires different skills and characteristics, and a professional of said sport is probably a pretty good athlete regardless.


Umm, doesn't Rubgy have different positions with different needs? Props, forwards, backs, etc.

I'm not sure what overall athleticism is.


Oh, and this thread reminds me it's about time for another "My pants don't fit" thread.


overall athleticism is a generic term people throw around...i suppose he meant in terms that rugby players need to play full on for 80 minutes whereas NFL players don't need that level of conditioning(not that some don't have it)..the 300+ pound behemoths would have issues with rugby but with the right amount of conditioning work,most NFl players could play rugby

The main issue would be learning the game ie. competing at the breakdown,position on the field,lineout,scrums,tackling without pads so you don't kill yourself,catching/passing etc...


but yeah,i agree with the previous poster every sport is different so you cant compare them..there is usually a rugby v NFL thread every now and again!!

ftr rugby is my first sport but I got into NFL by playing madden on the PS and now love it..it does go on a wee bit long i suppose but the cheerleaders help..

go giants!


I like both. Both are different. Simple enough.



Both are completely different, comparing the two would be silly. The only similarities are the oval shaped ball and its tackling, but even those two things are different.

NFL players are stronger and quicker because the sport demands short bursts with long rests (in relation to rugby).
Rugby players are 'more rounded' because the sport demands it of them.

I found a page showing that nearly all the professional players in super 15 comp wouldn't pass the strength grade for the American u20 rugby squad. Shows that the usa rfu focus far too much on strength (which is so important in NFL) and not technique and skill.


[quote]SSC wrote:
I am going to leave this here before this thread goes full retard. (Believe me, it's going to happen - this thread pops up every couple of months.)

I'm new around here and obviously, I haven't read every past thread. The goal wasn't to confront one sport to the other but to compare a couple of rules that I think would make football more interesting. Just wondering why these distant cousins evolved so differently.

But if you guys want to go full retard, that could be fun too.:slightly_smiling:


I like both sports.

It does seem like American football has been created with advertisers in mind though.

A 30sec ad break after almost every bit of action is a pain.


It would be interesting to come up with a hurry-up based offence. Either string a set of plays together and huddle every so many plays, or even set up a number of finite state machines (I don't know what they are called outside of programming) where position on the field, distance to 1st, and down determine the next play.

The only reason I watch football is because it has skinny, medium, and fat guys -- just like Ice Hockey for Nintendo.


Ok, if we're saying that "two different sports", we should remember there's rugby union and rugby league then...


Rugby league doesn't count :slightly_smiling:


Apples V. Oranges ....



^ This, it's become such a business that i cant watch with out my DVR...

I watched the rugby grand final, and that shit was savage. No pads, forearms to the head to anyone who got the ball, and no pads. GREAT SPORT.

As i was watching, i couldnt help but wonder how someone like Peyton Hillis would do in rugby. The dude has all the athletic ability, and i assume would be one of the fastest ppl on the "pitch" while also being one of the biggest. He'd get out of breath real quick but once the conditioning was sorted out he'd have to be one of the best players in any of the leagues? I dont know why more NFL'ers dont crossover.

Anyways, LOVE rugby, makes the NFL look like soccer.


I guess you don't follow the Cooperative Championship then.


And just what the fuck is a rugby?


Blondes vs. Brunettes



WTF? How much does Rugby pay? NFL rookie minimum salary is $285,000.