An American football veteran says he and his NFL teammates look at rugby players as inspiration for tackling and toughness in their own sport.
Michael Bennett, a defensive end for the Seattle Seahawks, stopped by a training to speak to the Auckland Blues today as they prepare for the first round of Super Rugby this weekend.
The 2014 Super Bowl winner told 1 NEWS he was in awe of the players.
"We watch rugby to learn how to tackle better, be better defenders, be better trackers," he told 1 NEWS.
"Everybody in rugby is so tough - the way they play through injuries - we look up to them for inspiration to be tougher players and better defenders."
The 32-year-old said the two sports share a common enemy at the moment with concussion a pressing issue for player safety.
"We try and limit our concussions but both sports have problems with conussions right now," he said.
"Everyone's trying to find a way to protect the integrity of the sport but also the players."
Former NFL player and Paul Lasike made a successful transition from grid iron to rugby over the weekend after making his international debut for USA against Chile.
The NZ-born 27-year-old scored a try and set up another for USA in the 45-13 win.