NRL: Kiwis player gives up on NFL dream

Martin Tapau has put his dreams of playing in the NFL to the side after signing a four-year deal with Manly. Photo / Getty
Martin Tapau has put his dreams of playing in the NFL to the side after signing a four-year deal with Manly. Photo / Getty

Manly big man Martin Taupau has given up on his NFL dream, ruling out trying to follow in Jarryd Hayne's footsteps.

The New Zealand back-rower last year admitted his desire to play American football and expressed a desire to nominate for the NFL combine.

Former Parramatta star Hayne last year blazed a trail for NRL players when he was signed by the San Francisco 49ers despite having never pulled on pads and a helmet.

Taupau, an NFL tragic, said he believed he had the explosive speed and power to crack the American league and was encouraged after Hayne told him he had the makings of a linebacker.

But Taupau said he had put those dreams to the side after signing a four-year deal with Manly, meaning he would not be able to make it to the United States for a try-out anytime soon. "I don't think I'm in a position to anymore," Taupau said.

Read more: Germany's own Jarryd Hayne

"I've signed here for four years so I've put that to bed.

"It's nice to watch the game now, to sit on the couch and watch a few games here and there.

"But other than that I don't think making a move is a smart move for myself and my football. For now it's Manly for the next four years."

Asked how he thinks he'd fare in the NFL, Taupau said: "I'd be interesting. I'd like to see how they'd go without the helmets and shoulderpads.

Read more: Hayne drops down pecking order without even playing

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