Opinion: Could The Rock answer SBW's call as a rugby player?


He's made himself available for the New Zealand Sevens team, but after accepting Sonny Bill Williams' SOS call - where exactly would Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson fit in on a rugby field?

Johnson breathed excitement into NZ rugby fans everywhere this morning when he replied to the NZ Sevens convert's tweet that he was 'ready' to cover some of the injured members of the All Blacks Sevens.

New Zealand's Sonny Bill Williams scores his first international sevens try, Day1, HSBC World Sevens Series, Westpac Stadium, Wellington, New Zealand. Saturday, 30 January, 2016. Copyright photo: John Cowpland / www.photosport.nz

New Zealand's Sonny Bill Williams scores his first international sevens try in Day 1 of the HSBC World Sevens Series in Wellington.

Source: Photosport

"Just say the word and I'll come running. Don't know how far, but I'll come running."

The offer comes after Johnson confirmed he had played rugby as a child when he lived in New Zealand - "toughest sport I've ever done," he said.

But the Hollywood A-lister has done other sports; most well known for his wrestling career, The Rock also grew up playing American football where he developed skills that could genuinely help him in the black jersey.

The then 1.98m tall, 130kg Johnson was a highly sought after signature for college football, but he agreed to a full scholarship to the University of Miami as a defensive tackle, where he (ironically) played for the Hurricanes for four years. 

Coach at the time, Ed Orgeron, told ESPN the 19-year-old giant was something special.

"He was a highly recruited kid. We were excited to have him," he said.

"He was developed and was extremely quick. He was a hard worker and a humble young man."

Johnson's speed and size are two highly sort after attributes in rugby union - matched with his strength spurred by the genetics of a wrestling family and an undying passion for the gym, the base skill set the actor has would be a much deeper pool to work with than many would think.

Former WWE wrestler and actor Johnson shares a special message for the USA women’s football team
Source: 1 NEWS

In his four year career at Miami, he recorded 78 tackles on defence - an impressive number considering his position in grid iron and one that also shows he can bring big men down too.

Though it is unconfirmed what jersey number The Rock did wear while he played rugby in New Zealand, had he continued the sport with such skills available to him, he could have very easily ended up like the man who called him out - Sonny Bill Williams.

An impact player in the midfield, Johnson could use his size, strength and speed to bust open line breaks and shut down his opposite with tackling prowess. Granted, he probably wouldn't have the offloading reputation Williams has but if he ran as hard as he did in American football, he may not have to.

Not to mention there would be the odd wrestling move he could use at the breakdown to clear out any defenders trying to turnover the ball.

loading error