American Football vs Rugby

American Football
Rugby

American football is a game played between two teams and consists of 11 players in each of the two teams, with unlimited substitutions. American football is a game of intense physical play with complex strategy to score points by advancing the ball to the opponent team’s end-zone.

Rugby is best described as a blend of the contact of American football, the running of soccer, and the transition of basketball. It is a game played between two teams with 15 players in each, played on a rectangular field, with the object being to run with an oval ball across the opponent’s goal line or kick it through the upper portion of the goal posts.

Both the games differ in a variety of parameters.

Comparison chart

Edit this comparison chart

American Football

User Rating (1090):

Rugby

User Rating (1098):
Time limit Four 15-minute quarters, with a half-time intermission after the second quarter. The game clock stops frequently between plays. Two 40 minute halves with a ten minute half time. Clock only stops for prolonged injuries.
Object of the Game Object of the game is to score points by carrying the ball beyond the opponents touch line. (Each such instance is called a touch down). Also scoring by kicking it between the goal post called a Field Goal. Object of the game is to carry the ball and place the ball down on the opponents touch line (called a Try) or kick it between the goal posts.
Number of players 11 players on the field at any point of time Team consists of 15 players for Union
Major League National Football League (NFL) Major comps include"(domestic) super 15, Aviva prem, RFU, top 14, Nat league 1 & 2, rugby pro d2, ITM cup, currie cup, rebo pro d12, super 10, shut shield, NSW suburb rugby(+more) (internation) RWC, four nat, six nat, pacific nat, asian 5 nat(+more)
Substitution Unlimited Up to 7 substitutions allowed (depending on the tournament rules) Once pulled out cannot be substituted back in unless there is an injury and no other substitutes.
Countries USA Worldwide
Player Size NFL player brandon banks 70 kg. (155 lbs.) was at one point 67 kg. (149 lbs.) is the lightest NFL player since 2010 while the largest NFL player was 162.3kg (358 lbs.) The largest running back is 122kg (268 lbs.) Brandon jacobs. The lightest rugby player to ever play international rugby was Gordon McGhie at just 58kg. largest rugby international bill cavubati (165.3kg) his heaviest at 201.7kg (442.5lbs).
Ball A prolate spheroid which is about 11 inches (28 cm) long and about 22 inches (56 cm) in circumference at the center and weighs around 0.875lbs. A prolate spheroid shaped football. The accepted international size is called the "size 5" and is approximately 27 cm long and 60 cm in circumference at its widest point and weighs around 1lb.
Number of Umpires / Referees 3 to 6 referees plus booth review 4 referees including TMO (television match official) who declares tries valid or invalid via cameras for tries which aren't visible for the ref or caused after an illegal infringement and 2 assistant referees.
Current World Champions Seattle Seahawks (2013-2014) New Zealand All Blacks (Rugby Union World Cup)
Field Length: 120 yards (109.728 meters) in total (100 yards (91.44 meters) of playing field, with two 10-yard (9.144 meters) end zones) Width: 160 feet (48.768 meters) 100 (120m if end zone "goal area" is included) meters long by 70 meters wide with 20-meter in try area.
Protective gear Helmet, Shoulder/Chest pad/protector, upper leg padding and mouthguard are rightfully required. Players are only allowed modest padding on Head, Shoulders, Collarbone etc. Only a mouthguard is required.
Major Tournaments NFL Playoffs Rugby World Cup
What is it? American football is a game with intense physical aggression with players that have speed, power, and explosiveness that requires helmets and padding to be worn. Rugby is a game with intense physical aggression and necessary endurance that only requires a mouth guard for play. Certain possesions require speed and agility, others require strength.
Average contact per game Average tackles per game per player: 4 with highest recorded at 4600lbs (by sports science), consistent contact away from the ball with downfield blocking with contact as severe as a tackle. Average tackles per game per player: 16 - Average hit impact: 1600lbs. of force (recorded from members of the LA rugby team by sports science)

Contents: American Football vs Rugby

edit Differences in rules of Rugby and American Football

American football: Each team has 11 players on the field at one time, with unlimited substitutions. Each team gets three time-outs per half. Play begins with a kickoff. Two teams line up opposite each other; they are usually lining up a “play from scrimmage.” Receiving player may run with ball or may pass it. Each team has to move the ball at least 10 yards within 4 downs. If they fail to do so, other team gets the chance. If they succeed they get 4 new tries to move the ball 10 yards further. The main object is to score points by advancing the pointed oval-shaped ball into the opponent’s team end-zone.

Rugby: A Rugby team consists of 15 players, divided into forwards and backs. Forwards are often larger and stronger players of the team having their main job to win the possession of the ball. The backs are usually smaller, faster, and more agile and exploit the ball possessions. The match begins with a kickoff and the teams compete for possession. The player of the receiving team may run with the ball, or kick it, or pass it to any other player laterally or behind him. Opponent player may tackle the ball carrier at any time. Other than tackles, scrummages, rucks, mauls, and lineouts, no other contact is allowed. Even dangerous tackles are not permitted and are penalized severely. Once tackled, the player must release the ball immediately so play may continue. Once a team has crossed the opposing team’s goal line and touched the ball to the ground, a try is scored (five points). After each try, the scoring team has the opportunity to score two more points with a conversion.

edit Origin of rugby and football

American football is said to have developed from Rugby. British colonists from Canada are said to have brought rugby to the Americans. At that time the two were not as differentiated as now.

The origin of Rugby in England goes back long into the 19th century and even earlier. In 1800's formalities were introduced to football rules in the seven major public schools of England.Handling the ball was permitted in football in the early 1800's when players were allowed to take a mark and then a free kick. The Rugby Football Union had been formed in 1871 by representatives of 21 clubs - all of which were located in southern England and most were within London. By the early 1890's rugby was widespread and well over half the RFU's clubs were in northern England. The working classes of the north of England and South Wales were particularly taken with rugby over football (soccer).

All sports historians place the beginning of American Football from Rugby. It is said that the Britishers got the game to Canada in late 19th century which then spread to America. Here many variations were made to the game and in 1892 the roots of professional American football can be traced. From here on this game started getting its own identity.

edit Playing Field

American football is played on a rectangular field 120 yards (110 meters) long by 53 1/3 yards (49 meters) wide. Near each end of the field is a goal line; they are 100 yards apart. A rugby league field is very similar, it is 120 metres long and about half that in width, there is a line across the field every ten metres.

edit Contact Sport

The most significant differences between American and Rugby football are that in Rugby all players are allowed to handle the ball and any sort of blocking, forward passing, and time-outs are not allowed. Unlike American football, in case of Rugby any kind of screening and obstruction to players who do not have the ball is not allowed. This is the main reason why Rugby is much safer than American football. Unlike American football, only lateral passes are legal, and running and kicking can advance the ball.  In American Football, one forward pass per down is permitted, so long as it originates behind the line of scrimmage.

edit Protective Equipment in rugby and football

In Rugby, there is lack of hard protective equipments such as helmet and padding. That’s why in case of Rugby players are also taught to tackle with personal safety in mind. In football, hard tackles are allowed which is why there is padding.

edit Schedule and Cost

Rugby provides for a more flexible schedule and less costly athletic team than professional football, hockey, or other options.

edit Control

In case of Rugby, players are concerned more about retaining ball possession rather than gaining yardage as in case of American football.

edit Scoring

A touchdown is the American football equivalent of rugby league's try. Ironically, a try requires the ball to be 'touched down' to the ground, whereas a touchdown doesn't. In American football it is sufficient for the player carrying the ball to cause the ball to enter the end zone (in-goal area) while still in bounds, by carrying it in or holding the ball in or through the imaginary plane of the goal line. In rugby league the ball must be pressed to the ground in the in-goal area. An American football touchdown scores 6 points and a rugby league try is now worth 4 points. In rugby union a try is worth 5 points, the conversion is worth 2.

edit Football vs Rugby Strategy

American football is a game of set moves and counter moves (similar to chess). On the other hand, Rugby is a more free-flowing spontaneous game.

edit Geographical differences

As the name suggests, American football is played in North America while rugby is played across the globe with prominence in Europe and Australia.

edit References

Comments: American Football vs Rugby

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April 12, 2014, 11:32am

Also the hit up power stats were recorded by the LA rugby team but the AF stats by an international team.

— 78.✗.✗.240
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March 8, 2014, 7:47am

Ridiculous. Rugby players make more tackles, with no padding! In both games the opposition runs at the defence at full speed. To say the impact in American football is 3 times more is just American ego. Rugby league is even tougher. Google ' state of origin' , and tell me the hits are soft!

— 203.✗.✗.210
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December 18, 2013, 5:55am

Rugby is the best

— 76.✗.✗.36
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April 12, 2014, 11:35am

There is much more technique in tackling in rugby than in AF but they are both great sports-better than soccer football!!

— 78.✗.✗.240
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March 25, 2014, 4:46pm

Actually the heaviest football player ever was 410 pounds(Aaron Gibson)thank you very much.

— 107.✗.✗.89
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February 3, 2014, 9:21am

Lol you jerkwads insulting football sound really immature. (not an American)

— 220.✗.✗.36
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February 3, 2014, 9:14am

I really don't get why everyone here is subtly putting football down and lifting rugby up on a pedestal? I am not American - I come from a nation that plays rugby, albeit not as big to us in the way football is to the Americans. I do, however, love football. But who are you to say that football players are 'less tough' than rugby players? Football is really dangerous as well, not what I'd call a wuss' sport. Each sport is their own, I don't get why people are saying rugby is 'more special' than football. That is all subjective.

— 220.✗.✗.18
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December 18, 2013, 4:20pm

NFL players would not be able to tackle harder or be more physical than a rugby player in a rugby match given the ruleset in that sport.As well,they would be afraid of breaking their necks with faulty techniques and scrummaging.Simple they wont be good enough to play rugby generally.Similarly rugby players wont be top dogs at nfl...sure many will be able to succeed but wont usurp specialists in that sport.Also.NFL players are massively pumped up with steroids and growth hormones,etc...some rugby players as well but not many...overall take your pick....i prefer rugby as it is far more fluid,faster and flows better.NFL seems very mechanised and stop start.

— 197.✗.✗.157
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December 12, 2013, 9:22pm

In rugby you get paralyze and other injury because of contact hard and hard tackle and hard run but to avoid it you have to be smart and experience but American football it's mostly head injury because they don't have experience in how to tackle how to run sidestep or avoid it, and because they are not that fit to with stand it or smart enough

— 76.✗.✗.36
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August 20, 2013, 4:00pm

Rugby players are much fitter but still have explosive power. From what I can tell, AF players have more opportunity to excersise said powers. Rugby is also more technical e.g. the scrum, lineout, kicking grubblers in play, rucks, and still some set plays from lineouts and scrums. Each position has its strengths, weaknesses and jobs BUT every player can and will be required to do jobs from covering for the full-back in defense to scoring tries to rucking out. That is my case for the rugby side. I invite someone intelligent from the AF side to explain why AF is equal to or better than rugby.

— 86.✗.✗.251
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July 31, 2013, 2:57pm

Jonah Lomu Height 1.96 m (6 ft 5 in) Weight 120 kg (265 lb; 18 st 13 lb) a former New Zealand rugby union player is comparable or certainly fitter than most quarterbacks even the likes of Peyton Manning. I certainly would like to see any NFL player play a full game of rugby with out the stoppages and time outs. In all honestly thay could not do it. In all fairness you can not really compare rugby to gridiron. They're two different games although gridiron has its roots in rugby today it is a different game.

— 50.✗.✗.4
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June 15, 2013, 1:39pm

As an American living in Australia I have watched a ton of rugby, mainly league but have watched a lot of union as well and I will say without a doubt rugby is a very brutal game. BUT..... Rugby fans pls stop getting carried away thinking cuz there's pads the players don't feel anything hahahahaha. There is a speed in the NFL that can't replicated in any other full contact support PERIOD. U know all those stop starts that everybody clowns us well those stop starts allows a rest in between plays wich allows a top level of play the whole game. Like I said rugby has a lot of big hits but U can't lead with ur head Running full speed. Now go strap on sum pads and play our game c how that works out.

— 180.✗.✗.44
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March 11, 2013, 12:26am

for those of you saying AF is for pussies i play both and football seems to hurt a lot more

— 47.✗.✗.10
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February 7, 2013, 5:38pm

Athletes in both sports run about the same speed. Rugby players GENERALLY tend to be bigger than BALL PLAYING American football players. in NFL it's more dangerous to be a TACKLED players because they don't get time to adjust to an impact, they get hit from any direction without being braced and because they are allowed to be TACKLED IN THE AIR, which is why NFL players require PADS.

Rugby is more dangerous for the TACKLER because unlike NFL the player making a tackle has to deal with a HEAD ON collision, A player moving at pace and who is braced moving in his direction.

rugby players generally vary in size from (187lbs.) 85kg (being EXTREMELY small.) to 200kg (440lbs.) (which is extremely rare.) (like big bill who's mentioned above.) larger rugby players tend to be around 135-150kg like 19 YEAR OLD Edwin maka (140kg) -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edwin_Maka
and
Opeti fonua - http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opeti_Fonua

NFL players Generally range in size from 67kg to 160kg.
The largest ball playing NFL players are both at around 123kg (271lbs.)

The reason for the size differences listed above is because of the difference between the sports, Players in both sports are expected to be very mobile but A NFL player who is 135kg although being able to batter players out of the way is less than likely to make the required amount of yardage, therefore NFL players need to be of decent size BUT speed and agility is picked over brute strength.




Both sports show amazing display's of agility, NFL AND rugby players have to jump for the high ball

NFL - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qb9NOyBjGtU
Rugby - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwxjHV3_bVA (skip to 6:05)

Both sports have players step, dance, weave or move around opponents although AF has a much BIGGER emphasis on this because the players generally have a lighter more thin build and a leaner body and longer legs.

The average tackle in both sports looks reasonably similar (seriously Americans WATCH A WHOLE FUCKING GAME, we get great coverage of the NFL in Australia it's basically AD FREE and it's live.)

The technique differs however, The average rugby tackle is aimed at taking down a playing who is moving towards them so rugby players IN LATER TIMES tend to tackle HIGHER (between the waist and the neck.) to AVOID becoming unconcious, mainly because of the head coming into contact with the Hip OR thighs, this is less effective at putting players on the ground which is why many rugby players still tackle lower.

- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImCTTbRHdfU

So players are now being urge to tackle A little higher (as many would of seen the change over the past year.) NFL tackles are aimed at SLOWING the player they are tackling, many tackles are from behind or from the side and players are taught to do almost any action to SLOW the players movement, this is similar to rugby however the tackle technique in the AVERAGE tackle in NFL often consists of LESS shoulder and more pulling or twisting of the player they are tackling.

The "big hits" in both sports are very different, Most "big hits" in NFL comprise of ONE PLAYER moving at a very fast pace were as in Rugby big hits are usually made on a player who is moving fast into a tackle.

The hits in AF sometimes can seem more spectacular because of the reasons above but hits in both sports are similar, Think about it this way, to put a player moving at full pace onto his back TAKES MORE FORCE than to put a slow moving player on his back (which is rare, Most AF "big hits" result in the upper torso pulling backwards (because of the helmet.) but the rest of the body doesn't often (but sometimes it does.) get affected as much in Af. WATCH THE TACKLES CAREFULLY.)

here's an example of what one MAY look like, this is a pretty standard "front on" tackle BUT with the exception of the player being "slow moving" this clip is a sort of "middle ground" between the general idea of an NFl and rugby big hit

- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06lDC4p8G_U

Now running, in AF players throw the ball fowards (not always.) meaning the player recieving the ball MAY NOT have A lot of room to run (not that it's too different to rugby.) therefore in AF players tend to try and find support (blockers/linesman.) or to try and move around the player. In rugby passes are thrown backwards, rugby players tend to get A LITTLE BIT more space between where they caught the ball and the defending players, they also get the advantage of a BACKWARDS pass (allowing them to "run onto" the ball.) meaning rugby players generally opt to run at the defence (yes we spell it differently.) Therefore players as I mentioned above need different tackling styles to stop these players.

to stop an NFL attack a player must find a way to GRASP the player and twist or pull them to put them off balance and slow them (if you watch the NFL you'll see most players do this rather than go for the "big hit" they generally get to the player and then try to PULL THEM off balance.)

Rugby players tend to try and opposite the force, if a player is running upright it's a GOD SEND for a rugby player because rugby players try and oppose the force of the runner and dig the shoulder in. When A player runs upright his center of gravity is higher meaning if you have a lower center of gravity YOU DON'T NEED TO BE MOVING FAST to win the collision. It's possible to run full pace into a tackler WHO ISN'T MOVING and lose to him in the collision.

so kicking, In AF kicking consists of punts and goals (similar to rugby.) the idea of a punt is basically the same in both sports EXCEPT in rugby punts are aimed towards the corners and near the touchlines and punts in AF are aimed to make the furthest distance. In rugby players also use "chip kicks" (short kicks used to re gather the ball.) and "grubber kicks" (same idea.) to beat the defence.

In Rugby players kick of a "tee" a small plastic or rubber object, in NFL players kick the ball from the ground whilst a player holds it and a field goal is made IN GENERAL PLAY.

tactics - In NFL it's more of a chess game, you need to think of where the pieces go BEFORE getting into position, it's about moving your pieces into the right place without the opposition catching on.

In rugby tactics consist of a "gameplan" players will be given a gameplan before the start of the game and at half time. This usually consists of the opponents weaknesses (do they leave gaps on the wings, do the inside players rush up fast on defence, is their lineout working, how's their scrum, do they have defenders near the breakdown, is there any mismatches??) and an overview (do you want the team to take all the points on offer?? do you want your team to keep it tight (if it's raining.) do you want the team to not punt (because of high wind.) do you want your players to rush up (if the other team has a LARGER set of players.)Players will then keep this in mind and "think on their feet" they will try and exploit the opponents weaknesses, while sticking to the gameplan. Players will work as a team to get around the opponents defence (or to stop the other team advancing.) rugby is all about COMMUNICATION.


Both sports are equally as good and both are JUST as dangerous, there's A little bit more "serious" injuries in rugby but that's because of the additions of "rucks" and "scrums" therefore without them the injuries would be basically the same amount.

AF players NEED Pads because they aren't able to brace for tackles where as rugby players are braced AND MOVING FORWARD into tackles (sometimes the opposite happens for BOTH sports.)

The FORCE of the tackler in both sports is pretty similar however the "collisions" in rugby are generally bigger (because players move into tackles more often.) but the BIGGEST collisions in both sports would be of similar impact.

Both games are extremely tactical and require a different kind of intelligence and lastly both games have extreme athletes although they are of a different build.

You should all watch some games of the other before critizing it, I've recently for the past 2 years watched the AF and I love it just about as much as rugby.

I love the shift in pace, the catches and throws, the chess match and the agility

In Rugby I love the raw strength, the impact, the teamwork and the communication.

— 49.✗.✗.120
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January 14, 2013, 2:39am

It seems to me how most of the rugby fans miss the display of amazing agility some of the NFL players have and seriously you got to admit some a lot of NFL players would be hell on a rugby team. imagine they had some one like Chris Johnson (4.24 in the 40) or Adrian Peterson on the team. i would not mind getting into Rugby team. i use to play CB in high school and by far the most aggravating position every.

— 70.✗.✗.181
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November 29, 2012, 6:39pm

Rugby FTW. American football is just a copy and likes taking stuff from other sport like the real football which you idiots call soccer even though you only use your foot while in football you rarely use your feet. Also rugby came first so since you sucked at it so much you decided to have your own lazy sport of it. Stop ruining sports America and calling them your own. You also did the same thing thing with kricket that you call baseball

— 209.✗.✗.62
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November 26, 2012, 5:04pm

nfl is for pussies. they dont have the stamina to play rugby as it requires a bloody hell of stamina to get into the rugby field. i'd say tht the nfl players wouldnt last even 2 minutes in a rugby match. the fundamental thing that u must have to play rugby is stamina. u must have the stamina to play rugby game for 80 minutes continuous play with only 10 minutes break.i dont see tht criteria in nfl players. yes,hits from the nfl players are much harder than the rugby players but if u've studied physics,the pad tht the nfl use in every game absorbed all the forces created by the player. thus,the force tht the player felt is such like being hit by a pillow. imagine urself playing rugby with a ball in ur hand n ur opponent heading to u with an explosive speed n the weight of 80 kg which is the smallest weight in rugby player. just imagine the force that will absorb by your body,muscle n bone. there's no pad. just ur body will absorb tht force. do the maths n apply ur physics. RUGBY FOR LIFE!!!

— 113.✗.✗.168
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November 25, 2012, 10:49pm

TO the guys below me , I doubt that nfl players could last 5 minutes in a rugby game, because they would already be sent to the blood bank because they are not used to the heavy contact, and also their stamina isnt good, I mean nfl players play a game that lasts a total of 20 minutes or something like that while rugby players play the full 80 minutes with no break but the half time. A football player has no chance in hell to even compete with my schools under 14 girls team, theyd just be tackled to hard. Rugby is way more harder, they put people on their heads, while all AF does is senseless smashing.

Anyways the guy below me, you wouldnt know what good rugby is, because you observe American Rugby teams, get one of your nfl players and send them to New Zealand to play against a 5th grade rugby team heck even a 7th Grade womens rugby team they'll have a bad time.

RUGBY IS THE BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

— 203.✗.✗.99
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November 11, 2012, 1:56pm

Honestly you guys saying football players wouldn't last in rugby are retarded. Football is way harder. Next of all any football player can become a rugby all star. Rugby players can't play football. At my highschool the rugby recruit 55% of the football and we won the provincial championship

— 174.✗.✗.214
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October 20, 2012, 12:40pm

Put any AF player in the tight five of a scrum and watch their necks get broken no matter how big they are

— 121.✗.✗.73
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August 14, 2012, 3:50am

I played both sports and the way I see it is rugby is way better because it's a tougher sport for the fact that their is no required padding but a mouth gaured

— 70.✗.✗.115
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June 9, 2012, 2:27pm

Firstly Its games of 40 Minute halves, not 35 minutes. And the halves can overrun the 40 minutes, up until the ball goes dead, so halves actually can last longer than 80 minutes, however it will only count as an 80 minute game.

Regarding the size issue; the size of teams in rugby are altering. Traditionally the southern hemisphere teams have the larger backs, with the northern hemisphere having the smaller backs. While there remain the odd small, fast backs in rugby, on average rugby players are alot larger now

Rugby Union Vs American Football
Average Height 6ft vs 6ft2
Weight 198lbs vs 245lbs(Unsure if thats with or without pads)
Distance 4.35miles vs 0.19miles
fastest100m 10.2 vs 10.4
Strength 495lbs vs 700 lbs

http://wallabiesrwc15.hubpages.com/hub/Americas-Fastest-Growing-Contact-Sport-Rugby-Union

People need to distinguish between the rugby games; since there are; union, league and sevens.

League and union are the 80 minutes with 15 players, union with the unlimited tackles, and league similar to American football with a maximum number of tackles (and therefore the closest game to american football). But sevens is a 30 minute match with 7 players a side, on a full size pitch, which would probably be the most physically demanding of all forms of rugby and american football.

Padding is actually a big point, the general comment is a case of they need the padding because they hit harder. But how much does the padding themselves contribute towards the fact that they are hitting harder? The reason they hit harder is you have a rigid pad, hitting a rigid target. It protects the player, but at the same time the force isn't dissipated, making the impacts appear noticeablly larger.

— 92.✗.✗.159
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May 20, 2012, 3:44pm

Should there be an argument in the first place? honestly, I watched the 2011 RWC and the super bowl. both sports exhibit a great deal of athleticism, albeit different aspects of it. Sure NFL players cant run for 10 km plus but do they have to? nope, they need to gain yards like lightning. Can rugby players focus on just single skills like NFL offense and defense? no sir... EVERYBODY needs to be able to pass, tackle, kick and run well. So the americans like their apples(nfl) and the commonwealth loves their oranges(rugby). I put both in a fruit salad. Enjoy them both may I say? once we all learn to stop hating maybe we might have a 'clash of the codes' friendly exhibition match some day.... Every sport is great (Y)

— 202.✗.✗.67
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April 29, 2012, 12:32pm

rugby players are 5"10 and 200lbs... you're joking right the tallest rugby player was 213cm tall and 146 (146kg is 321lbs) so thats bullshit. the heaviest rugby player is bill cavubati he was the heaviest rugby player in a world cup (at 165kg 365lbs) and the largest international rugby player in 2011 pacific nations at 200.7kg (442.5lbs) making him nearly 1 and a half times larger than most NFL players. The average NFL running back (only player allowed the ball) is around 105kg with larger ones at 115kg the rugby equivelent is a winger (the 3rd smallest players on the field) the 2 largest wingers were jonah lomu (129kg 100m in 10.8seconds) and nani nadolo (132kg 100m in around 11-12seconds). So size goes to rugby union speed however is easily dominated in NFL the fastest NFL player runs 100m in around 9.89secs fastest rugby player (bryan habana) runs 100m in 10.2seconds. Players from both sports hit around equally as hard but in different manors. NORMAL nfl and rugby tackles look very similar look at a game of rugby and NFL in normal play. normal tackles in both games are soft both come in with the shoulder and yes even in nfl they wrap (or more jersey grab) with the arms. Big hits is where technique differs in rugby the tackle moves at around 1/4 of his pace until the last 4 or 5 steps in which he then sprints into the player. In nfl they run at around 3/4 of their pace into the player they are hitting. Rugby runners and NFl runners run with similar technique both are around the same size (unless you include the forwards in rugby that can be anywhere from 240lbs-400lbs) Rugby runners usualy run with a larger impact (as they have more room to run on occasion) so for a rugby player to tackle another player who is equally or larger than a NFL player and win the impact he must hit as hard or harder than an NFL player. The advantage of the rugby tackle is all in the technique with no helemets to limit them (from apparent axel loading) they can lower their body place the right food forward (thats if they are using their right shoulder) and drive off their back foot and then their right foot putting all the power in the quadraceps and not the upper body. The advantage of an NFL tackle is they have padding and can run into the player but most strength from a nfl tackle comes from the upper body as NFl players don't lower their center of gravity when tackling (only in big tackles) meaning they often to achieve a successful hit have to either swing their shoulder before impact or leave the ground. Both techniques have flaws if you put them togethor (which is impossible because to get the footing right and to get the advantage of the spring in the shoulder pads is impossible without loosing the helmets). NFL players wears pads because they need to in rugby it is not permitted to hit a player without the ball and it is not permitted to hit players who are defenseless (in the air or about to receive the ball) in NFL a lot of the impact tackles are on players who aren't braced which makes it more dangerous if played without pads. But rugby has scrums rucks, mauls and lineouts which without the correct body shape can also be dangerous for example if you were to put ray lewis (114kg 6"3-"6"5) in the front row or as a "prop" in the scrum his neck wouldn't have the gained muscular wall from rugby and his body wouldn't be compact enough to survive the engagement of the scrums just like if you shoved a rugby scrum half as blocker or linesman unless he some how got hold of the opposing linesman and lifted him their is no way a man of that little size (average scrum halfs come at around (85-100kg) 187-220lbs they are the smallest players on the field in either game. Both sports encourage agility (NFL more so than rugby as players have blockers opening up gaps if the player is fast enough) rugby has chances for agility but not as many as players run into a 15 man flat defensive line not giving much opportunity for agility unless drawing in players (which rugby players are famous for falling for stupidity in other words it's like all the defensive players in NFL running off to the right hand side to tackle one man and than the quarter back hands it to the left hand side and the man WALKS into the end zone.) Both games require skill in ball handling or catching In rugby you have to catch balls that are much higher in the air but in NFL you are require to catch low fast sharp balls without cir-cumming to the pressure of other players on the opposite side. Both sports require brute strength both require speed in size both are reasonably. To say a rugby player wouldn't survive in NFL is bullshit (as many tacklers have come from the highland rugby club) and to say NFL players couldn't play rugby is bullshit too. NFL tackles could play in the centers and backs and blockers could easily be trained for fitness and still keep their size if not get larger and player in the props or loose forwards. Both games have a lot to learn from eachother, The highball from rugby, catching a bullet pass from NFL, pin point accuracy from NFL and rugby, NFL speed training, rugby strength and fitness training, both sports have advantages in the tackle, NFL agility training, taking the ball into contact (rugby), long distance kicking from rugby, the torpedo (as it's called in rugby) or punt from NFL. Lineouts and rucks are easily taught they are both great games both sides have large players NFL players are consistently larger (as rugby has the 2 smallest position on the field scrum half as i mentioned average about 190-220lbs and the fly half which is around the same size) but rugby has random monsters. NFL has all the speedsters both sports have agility but in different forms. Both NFL and rugby hits deal with similar impact but with very different techniques BOTH could work in either game (if helmets are eliminated but that would league the head defenseless). RUGBY FANS!!!! WE HAVE PADDING TOO! rugby padding protects from cuts and lacerations of the head but sadly wasn't invented to disperse the impact. Rugby does seem to be heading in the direction of NFL eventually both sports will either not be played or will be played with pads. Both sports have claimed a similar amount of lives. On average 86% of retiring rugby players contract spine and shoulder degenration diseases and i am sure the stats are similar in NFL. On Average 2 players during a rugby match will be injured and not be able to play or train for a minimum of 20weeks and a max of 50 weeks (as i said on average) and in NFL the stats ARE similar. Rugby fans they have to wear pads we have all been hit why not braced and 9/10 you won't be back for atleast 15 weeks after being hit in that manor. ENJOY BOTH GAMES i have just proved both arguments wrong NFL players are not bigger and the padding is not for pussies goodbye and thank you.

— 42.✗.✗.4
0

April 27, 2012, 2:08pm

To all these people saying that NFL players wouldn't last 5 minutes without pads....you're joking right? The only reason NFL players wear protective gear is because their hits are so much harder. The average rugby player is 5ft 10 (Just a guess) and around 200 pounds (again an estimate) whilst an average NFL player would be 6ft 4 and around 250 pounds of pure muscle. These guys are jacked, and I mean jacked. Rugby players are more aerobically fit so they could run for longer, but in regards to power, speed and strength NFL wins hands down. NFL uses the anaerobic system whilst Rugby uses the Aerobic. So they are completely different sports. Both sides would struggle playing each others sport. NFL players would get tired after 20 minutes whilst Rugby players would get knocked out within 10. They are both tough sports, I'm just sick of Rugby fans using their only arguement as "NFL players wear padding, such pussies" etc. NFL wear the pads because if they didn't there would be broken bones, concussions and god knows what out on the field.

— 138.✗.✗.80
0

March 28, 2012, 9:00am

Although they have similarities, they are, in other ways, very different. In AF they definitely hit harder because they don't need to wrap around the arms to complete a tackle: knock the guy on the ground, end of play. In rugby you can't do that. If you don't wrap your arms around the guy when tackling, you can be penalized. And also, if your not holding the guy on the ground, he can just get back up and continue running. My summary: AF hits harder, more explosive play. Rugby hits more precisely and generally requires more overall stamina and fitness. (written by a rugby player)

— 79.✗.✗.228
0

March 18, 2012, 5:55am

If Rugby players are so much more physically dominant than NFL players then why are there no players besides punters and kickers that have made the switch? Millions of dollars not incentive enough? If you took the best of the best NFL and trained them for 6 months they would probably do OK against the best of the best in Rugby. They would probably loose,but I think they would impress. If you switched it, Rugby players in pads would get slaughtered. NFL hits as hard as a 40 mph car crash. Rugby is 1/4th of that.

— 66.✗.✗.4
0

January 15, 2012, 5:19am

"Are you a dumbass! Rugby players are a lot more physically fit that Football players. And I can guarantee that if you took a group of football players against a group of rugby players and see who could take more harder hits the football players would be eliminated first. Especially the quarter backs, recievers, running backs, and corner backs... Rugby is a more protected sport, but it is more pain enduring that football will ever be... take off their pads and lets see how long those "Sissies" last."
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You sir are obviously an idiot but that's okay I will inform you. Football is A LOT more contact and that's a fact and before you start insulting how about we let Ben Roethlisberger hit a rugby player head on no gear I guarantee that Rugby player will most likely be dead. Football players are trained from day one to hit as hard as you possibly can and hurting the opponent is a goal and until you do you're losing. But Rugby players are thought to hold on and fall down and bring him down. So you're comparison is like saying lets put Curlers against Hockey players see who wins makes no sense

— 64.✗.✗.173
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January 15, 2012, 5:12am

AF and Rugby are completely different sports. Football players wear more gear because by nature the sport is more violent and its not debatable you are going full speed head to head its dangerous and demands a lot more muscle for explosive energy. But Rugby players have a lot more cardio because there sport demands, so its not a debatable subject different sports require different players. And yes there are acceptions I bet one rugby player in the world could throw down an AF player but I don't know if you realised running backs and wide receivers run A LOT in one given game so at ANY PROFESSIONAL level you are fit or you wouldn't be paid millions!

— 64.✗.✗.173
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December 27, 2011, 2:07am

Another useless analogy. AF is 100% effort in a burst. Rugby appears to be more of a 90% effort through out as to have reserve. Sort of like a 100 meter race as compared to a 400 meter race. Usain Bolt is running absolutely as fast as he can for that 100 meters. Jerimy Wariner is running at his fastest 400 meter pace(which is still very fast) but not his very top speed. They're just 2 different sports and people defend them mostly based on national pride, not reason.

— 76.✗.✗.156
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December 25, 2011, 4:42am

Yes rugby requires constant running which does not happen in football. Football is a more complex sport with strategy behind the plays and the defense. So let's just agree to say that rugby is a more over-all physical sport. While football is still physical, but is more complex. Both can be appreciated. But since I don't understand anything about rugby, I'll stick with my grid iron ball.

— 205.✗.✗.219
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December 7, 2011, 11:27pm

how can you say american foolsball is more athletic than rugby all the team changes oh well have a defensive team, and attacking team and a kicking team what a load of wank that is. Ive seen tackle videos on the nfl yea they are hard and you can see players want to hurt eachother and laugh at what pain they have caused. Im fed up of hearing how all your nfl athletes are super fit they couldnt endure one half of free flow rugby. Its constant running where as nfl is throw catch drop walk off have a cup of coffee and come back. the american rugby team shouldnt even bother playing they are useless just shows americans can only really play 3 sports american football, basketball and on a good day maybe soccer.

— 82.✗.✗.119
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October 31, 2011, 10:41pm

I've just read some of the comments here. Quite amazingly dumb from both rugby and AF fans. Yes, AF players are bigger and hit harder. But, they wouldn't and couldn't if they had been alternately running and pushing for the previous 3 minutes straight...actually they wouldn't be there to make hit at all. They are different games...got it? As for whether one game is more sophisticated or intellectually challenging. again just dumb. AF is a series of highly choreographed moves where very player has a precise predetermined role. Rugby is a much more spontaneous game where attacking and defensive patterns are used and players must react, within the pattern, to what is in front of them, without the coach telling them what do to. Neither is more intellectual or sophisticated than the other, they set different challenges which are answered differently. All the my sport is better than your, our players re tougher, our game is cleverer stuff is the territory of myopic intellectual pygmies.

— 109.✗.✗.221
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October 31, 2011, 10:29pm

The key difference is the length of each period of play. In AF these are rarely longer than a few seconds, so stamina is low but power for a few seconds is highly valued. In rugby plays can continue for some minutes, followed by short stoppages with the same players then continuing play. Power and strength are important but only if mobility and stamina are not sacrificed. The cliche is that most AF players would not be useful in rugby as they would be puffing blowing after the first minute or so. Equally, most rugby players lack the size and power of AF players. Horses for courses.

— 109.✗.✗.221
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October 25, 2011, 5:05pm

The truth about the two sports is that they are played at their best when one is able to play both. The power and grace of football combined with the endurance and agility of rugby would create an unstoppable athlete on any field in any sport.

— 198.✗.✗.33
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October 20, 2011, 8:29pm

Rugby and American Football Players are equally as strong and tough as each other. A human is a human. You can only work your body out so much. They are 2 complete different games and they r both physical. Take anybody out of there natural environment and you have a problem. Rugby might not do so well in AF and AF players might not do so well in Rugby. I'm pretty sure there r some weaklings in both sports that would get injured by switching sports as well as strong ones that could easily handle the change. There's no America vs Europe vs Africa vs whatever country you claim. Its just humans playing sports. Regardless what country or what sport is played you will have your people who can handle certain things as well as others that can't Obviously. Wars are started by people who think otherwise and try and put another country or race of people down because its not there own. Plus you guys on here saying these things couldn't handle either sport so why are you arguing?

— 65.✗.✗.118
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October 20, 2011, 7:48pm

American football is a high speed game there for the pads are needed. Rugby Players don't hit each other at full speed. They actually wrap up and take whoever has the ball to the ground. In American football both teams come from opposite sides of the field at high speed and collide at full force. Also players without the ball get caught off guard and hit extremely hard. The pads give them the opportunity to hit each other at full force. You cant run from one side of the field and hit someone at 20mph without pads and get back up to continue playing. Therefore the way the game is setup requires pads. If you look at the history of American football you can see how the padding has changed throughout the years. It used to be "NO" padding to the strong padding and strong helmets due to so much injuries and "DEATHS". Even with that there still many injuries and the players continue playing injured. Calling American football players sissies isn't relevant at.

— 65.✗.✗.118
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September 25, 2011, 11:24pm

Are you a dumbass! Rugby players are a lot more physically fit that Football players. And I can guarantee that if you took a group of football players against a group of rugby players and see who could take more harder hits the football players would be eliminated first. Especially the quarter backs, recievers, running backs, and corner backs... Rugby is a more protected sport, but it is more pain enduring that football will ever be... take off their pads and lets see how long those "Sissies" last.

— 206.✗.✗.35
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September 25, 2011, 11:48am

And it doesnt matter if it is rugby league or union differences, for sake of argument, just hope and pray all you rugby-ers that America doesnt show any true interest in the boring,unspecialized, and "protected" game of rugby...because if they do, they WILL overtake every team in the world at it...bar none. And I can say rugby is a protected game simply because thats what you do when you dont"allow" other players to block, and hit anyone with the ball.Its no wonder these sissies can run 40 minutes...they arent allowed to be truly"hit" with the wide variety of tackles that exist in AF. I would just love to see these rugby players get up off the ground when a raging bull like James Harrison for the Pittsburgh Steelers keys in on a rugby player and flattens him, lol. No contest, sheer size,strength, superior athleticism(i.e. AF players) win. If truly"attrition"..when all these rugby players are knocked senseless,and have to leave the game, how you going to win it? Get serious.

— 66.✗.✗.250
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September 25, 2011, 11:35am

It is a joke to "assume" rugby players are stronger and/or more skilled than AF players. There literally is no comparison to be had.AF players are bigger, stronger, and faster, they hit with much greater force because they are"allowed" to. Hence the needs for pads,helmets,etc..the hits and blocking of these AF brutes are much more violent, and anyone who says or thinks otherwise is obtuse.Now rugby is a game of endurance and attrition, AF is a far more complex, highly skilled, and intellectually more challenging game.Yeah, AF originated from rugby, and America made it more entertaining and difficult to play. I agree with a comment I heard from some English Bath league type like player or coach or something...in short, he stated that if Americans ever got serious about rugby, they'd just take a group of our all pro stud athletes,condition them to play rugby,then win everything rugby the world had to offer.(And they would, guaranteed.)Case in point: USA pro basketball players anyone??

— 66.✗.✗.250
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September 25, 2011, 6:59am

I'd like to see the best Rugby team vs the best NFL side (minus their padding) play against each other at both games to see who wins (i'm thinking the rugby players would smash the NFL players, with both their skills and endurance levels). That aside, in my opinion AFL is a far more entertaining sport to watch than both NFL and Rugby!

— 75.✗.✗.20
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February 24, 2011, 5:32am

I don't really see any particular bias. I've never played rugby, though, I have become a big fan in recent years. I have played AF at the high school level, and if I had to make any comparison between what I've experienced in AF and what I see in rugby, it'd be this:
There are two offensive positions on the gridiron that perhaps could translate their skills to the rugby field. Namely, wide receiver and halfback. Defensively, the corners and perhaps the safeties. Certainly the free safety, in any case.
Most rugby players could likely play the American game, though they'd obviously have to change their techniques a bit.
In short, AF counts mostly on the quick burst. The ability to use every bit of strength you can summon on as many plays as you can stand to. Rugby turns on, and seemingly never turns off. If I had to choose which is tougher, it'd be rugby, if only for endurance. I wouldn't bet on any rugby player for force PSI in a hitting contest, though.

— 155.✗.✗.2
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February 14, 2011, 11:18pm

Game flow is important. As American football tends to be organised in very violent in small bursts, rugby is more a game of attrition - 40 minutes of almost non-stop play. American football has more dangerous tackles, hence the padding, but I personally find rugby better to watch as I find the breaks between plays in American football infuriating.

— 68.✗.✗.179
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February 5, 2011, 10:28pm

I don't understand how someone can say this is a biased report. They are simply facts on each sport. You perceive it based on what you like more to be biased towards that sport, it is pretty objective in nature.

— 96.✗.✗.60
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January 28, 2011, 11:12pm

for me the difference between american football and rugby is that in football the quarterback is the only player on the field that calls the play(decide what to do for the whole team) where as in rugby all player has to think on there feet. football is a more physical sport then rugby but in my opinion rugby is a more skill demanding game as all players are required to be able to pass, run with the ball (though for some postion that is not as important) and tackel. Where in football some postion are fixed with only one purpose (i.e. defend qb, or even the kicking team, where the solo purpose of those players are to kick the ball then leave the pitch). Also the fast flowing rugby is a more beautiful sport than football

— 80.✗.✗.20
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July 22, 2010, 1:48am

rugby teaches values, forms a person and fills it with passion, partnership and bravery. While in football you can see how disrespectful players are, they just play a sport with no passion.
oh and how is anyday an american football longer than a rugby ball?

— 201.✗.✗.168
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March 29, 2010, 11:29pm

The article is wrong. Rugby League is related to Rugby Union, but the two sports are not the same. Different number of players, 13 to 15, different laws, no line outs, actually a whole different concept. League was considered the professional rugby for decades, while Union was totally "amateur" That has now changed. Rugby versus Yankee football. Let me see the american footballer who can go out and actively play for forty minutes straight. These guys suck the mask after a twenty yard run. I have played both and found rugby to be the better sport. It requires the ability to react instantly to what happens in front of you. There can be set plays, but it is rare if you are playing a team at your skill level , that you will ever get past step one. Unfortunately Rugby Union is being changed to appeal to the fan. The new game (post 2000) is a sissy sport compared to the game played for the last sixty or seventy years. America won the gold in the olympics in 1920's, kicked Frances ass.

— 99.✗.✗.104
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February 25, 2010, 12:04am

i dont get niether

— 75.✗.✗.144
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February 9, 2010, 2:19pm

Umm no Americal Football takes much more athlitism and Skill, rugby just takes endurance. Yah they dont has as much protection because they dont take the kind of hits players do in the NFL. and im sure most NFL players could play rugby (discluding QB's and Linemen). Rugby is unorginazed opposed to the NFL.

— 206.✗.✗.254
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January 22, 2010, 6:54pm

The Colts are only NFL champions, not World champions. I am sick and tired when i hear or see American teams proclaim that they are world champions in Baseball and NFL when they don't even play any team outside North America.

— 140.✗.✗.20
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November 15, 2009, 8:56am

funny I thought the bias was the other way, it seems very anti-football and pro-rugby where I'm sitting, I've played both and football is much more demanding.

— 75.✗.✗.78
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October 21, 2009, 7:48pm

This report is biased. This report tries to show that AF is better than Rugby. First, AF was originated from Rugby. Then they made it easier to play. Then as usual with every major US sport it was commercialized. More breaks, intermissions, etc to run ads on TV while you watching the game. Game stops every couple of seconds to run an ad. Rugby is a harder game. No protection and 40 minute half. This requires not just physical strength, but so much stamina. Anyone who played rugby knows how hard it is to just to run 40 minutes. It makes it even tougher that it is a contact sport. The biggest challenge for a rugby player is not that they play without protection. Rugby players are tougher and don't worry this, but the stamina for two 40 minute halves. This is why the team with more stamina wins usually during latter parts of the game. AF players won't last 5 minutes in the rugby field. Even if you are 300 lbs, but ran out of breath you are just a pile of flesh with jewelry. mean pads !

— 208.✗.✗.141
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March 25, 2014, 4:48pm

Rugby hits are so weak,rugby's a baby's game football is a man's game I have played both and rugby hits couldn't even push football players an inch back.

— 107.✗.✗.89
-1

December 12, 2013, 9:11pm

Rugby is more dangerous and hard that's why is international , American football not enough danger and not hard enough that's why only local

— 76.✗.✗.36
-1

October 29, 2013, 12:25pm

Lol according to sports station if Ray Lewis tackled someone without any gear on he would shatter their ribs. So dont even say football players are weak NFL FTW.

— 65.✗.✗.5
-1
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