Ex-NFL player on trial with Sharks

Former American football player Taylor Gentry will join the Sharks on trial, reports CRAIG LEWIS.

The Sharks confirmed that the former American football player at North Carolina State University would be joining up with the team on Monday.

Plans had been in place to launch the first professional club rugby team and league in the United States, but a potentially ground-breaking fixture against the Leicester Tigers was cancelled in June.

Gentry was one of the players who had been in line to feature in the Independence Cup, but after the fixture’s cancellation, members of America’s National Rugby Football League (NRFL) explored other avenues for players to experience professional rugby.

The Sharks expressed an interest in Gentry, who has mostly played prop since taking up rugby a few years ago, having briefly feature for the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs after he finished his college career.

‘I put in a lot of work preparing and it was disappointing when the [Independence Cup] game was cancelled,’ Gentry told the Americas Rugby News website. ‘I was about to go back to work when I got the call [from the Sharks].

‘Hopefully it all pays off. I’ve been playing a few years now, to the point where it’s time for me to take a shot and see if I can hang at a higher level.’

In confirming that Gentry would be joining the Sharks on trial, a spokesperson said: ‘We look forward to forging a great working relationship between the Sharks and US Rugby.’

Photo: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

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Craig Lewis