Taupau gives up on NFL dream

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.

“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.

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