Yorkshire American Football caches believe the NFL can learn a lot from rugby

By Cameron Hogwood

Twickenham Stadium played stage to its first non-rugby sporting event in 107 years on Sunday as the NFL came to London for the second time this season.

A 75,000 sell-out crowd watched on at the Home of Rugby in the 16th International series game, as the New York Giants defeated the LA Rams 17-10.

There remains to be a lot that the NFL can learn from the UK such as tackling technique in Rugby.

American Football coaches in the Leeds area are taking tackling from rugby and applying it to their sport in Yorkshire.

William Babbington, a coach for the Leeds Academy Assassins U19 and U17 American Football sides, has hailed the teaching of tackling in this country compared America’s methods.

He said: “I think that British coaches actually do a much better job teaching tackling than the American coaches so due to our familiarity with rugby.”

Babbington added: “There’s a lot the NFL can learn from Rugby and they are slowly starting to take lessons from it.”

David Pawson, the head coach of Leeds based American Football team the Yorkshire Rams, has outlined the way NFL teams are already learning from rugby.

He said: “There are now a number of teams in the USA from high school, college all the way up to the NFL who are looking at tackling from rugby in particular. The Seattle Seahawks in particular are one of the leading teams on this research.”

The NFL introduced a programme a few years ago called ‘Heads Up’, leading to the use of ‘Hawk Tackling’ which involves players targeting the legs of their opponents as opposed to their chest.

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