Anthony may follow Sav Rocca into NFL - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Anthony may follow Sav Rocca into NFL

By Darren Walton 09/09/2007 03:34:11 PM Comments (0)

Sav Rocca is tipping younger brother Anthony to follow him into the NFL as more and more Australians pursue a career in big-time American football.

While Anthony Rocca was busy leading Collingwood to a 38-point AFL finals win over the Sydney Swans on Saturday night, Sav was preparing to make his keenly-awaited NFL debut for the Philadelphia Eagles against the Green Bay Packers at 3am Monday AEST.

Having secured a three-year punting contract with the Eagles, Rocca is among three Australians in the NFL ranks this season, joining former Geelong captain Ben Graham (New York Jets) and Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowl punter Mat McBriar.

The ex-Collingwood and Kangaroos star will also become only the sixth Australian ever to play in the NFL after Colin Scotts, Colin Ridgway, Darren Bennett, McBriar and Graham.

The trailblazing Scotts, a defensive tackle for the St Louis Cardinals in 1987, is the only Australian to play a position other than punter.

"I think there will be more players come from Australia. How many, I don't know," Rocca told AAP after Eagles training in Philadelphia this week.

"But the likes of my brother, I think he'll give it a go.

"(Former Port Adelaide player) Stuart Dew was trying to come over here and I don't know why he stopped at it.

"But he's got a big kick and he'd certainly have a chance, and you've got other players out there who can certainly kick the ball who would be able to make it here.

"I know there's been more of an interest back in Australia and I know a friend of mine back there who plays gridiron said there's been more guys back there trying to become punters."

Rocca, 33, said he wasn't sure how much longer 30-year-old Anthony planned to stay in the AFL but had a brotherly hunch he was eyeing a future in the NFL.

"I think he's got another one year, maybe two," he said.

"If he gets offered another contract back home, he'll take that. So it's hard to know when he'll actually come over but I think it's (a matter of) when."

While the Eagles recruit will become the oldest rookie in American football history when he runs onto the historic Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Rocca said other Australians interested in playing in the NFL should consider moving to the US earlier in their careers.

"Maybe the better way is, if you're young enough, you might be able to come through college and do it that way," he said.

"It is challenging but you've got to be smart about it."

Rocca kicked 748 goals during his 15 season with Collingwood and the Kangaroos - the 12th most in the history of AFL/VFL football - but said winning a contract with the Eagles matched anything he achieved in AFL.

"This is a big achievement for me and it is for anyone comes over here and tries to succeed in another first-division sport," he said.

"To do it overseas and in something you're not really accustomed to is, I think is a good achievement for me and anyone else who does it."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 AAP

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