The World Cup is on and England have made another infamous exit in front of a home crowd, no we are not speaking of the Football World Cup but the Rugby World Cup is on and it is garnering a lot of attention.
Fast paced movement, great tackles and players that actually respect the referees, no diving, well unless they try to score, rugby is certainly a game to keep an eye on. The need for athletes to be in peak physical condition in football and rugby is extremely important, especially since both are contact sports. Many footballers try their luck at other sports, so we look at five players from the Premier League who could have played rugby if they wanted to.
One of the most important skills you need to have when playing rugby is to be able to collect the ball and Courtois is one of the best in that. The Chelsea goalkeeper is also one of the tallest in the Premier League and one of the heaviest as well, making him perfect for the game of rugby. He is great in his current occupation as the Chelsea number one but he could have represented a rugby team had he wanted to.
Apart from being able to collect high balls, the need to run fast and with a lot of strength is incredibly important in rugby as well. No one can be called a battering ram better than Everton’s Romelu Lukaku, the Belgian has had a great season so far this season, but his weight of 94kgs would make him an ideal player for the Belgian national rugby team, if they have one.
Another goalkeeper who makes it into the list, Pantilimon is the tallest player in the Premier League at over 2 metres in height, he also weighs a staggering 96kgs making him one of the heaviest as well. Costel might not be enjoying the best of seasons with Sunderland and he probably wouldn’t mind a switch to catching a rugby ball than picking the ball from the back of his net on a regular basis.
A bit of Viking power in the rugby field wouldn’t be the worst thing. Hangeland is one of the toughest players in the league and keeping him out of the rugby team would be impossible. Tall, imposing and a tough defender, Brede now plays for Crystal Palace, but he can easily make the switch to rugby if he wants to. We won’t tell anything to him though.
The former Chelsea goalkeeper and now Arsenal goalkeeper is one of the tallest players in the league and it should not come as a surprise that he made it onto the list. He certainly knows how to catch a ball and has shown the grit and also wears headgear similar to most rugby players, of course it is more for protection rather than anything else but Cech could certainly body-cech a few players on the field if he wanted to.