The answer is simple: Rugby and football truly aren't that different once you get through all the rules. It's still a bunch of sweaty men slamming their bodies against one another for the goal of being the best.
Greg Inglis was only 15 years old when he got noticed by scouts while playing rugby at a junior carnival. His physical demeanor (6'5", 242 pounds), and crushing blows made him easy to notice no matter where he was on the field.
Inglis signed his first professional contract with the Melbourne Storm shortly thereafter and the rest is history. Now Inglis is considered to be the best rugby player on the planet.
Inglis' size, speed, and ability to hit have NFL teams looking at him as a linebacker. He's already received tryout offers from the Broncos, Buffalo Bills, New York Giants, and now the New York Jets are reportedly interested in him as well.
The fact that Inglis is still only 23 years old and already the best rugby player in the world have definitely helped him get noticed internationally as well.
The only true issue that Inglis has ever been a part of happened on Aug. 9, 2009, when he was charged with recklessly causing injury and unlawful assault, after he reportedly beat his former girlfriend. He was suspended indefinitely by the Storm pending the outcome of the trial.
Inglis eventually accepted a diversion order in lieu of the assault charges, and was re-instated to the Storm by the team, and the National Rugby League (NRL).
The Broncos could use some depth at linebacker, and some feel Inglis can return kicks in the NFL as well. He's physical, strong, and quick for a man his size (reported 4.6 40 speed).
Inglis has managed to win nearly every NRL award, including the Golden Boot last season, which is given to the best rugby player on the planet.
Though the Storm are now mired in controversy due to reported salary cap rorting (Australia's version of violating the salary cap), Inglis has not made it clear whether he intends to rugby next year, or attend any tryouts with NFL teams this summer.
Hopefully, the Broncos can convince him to come and play some American football, because if Inglis can hit that way without pads, I'd love to see what he could on a football field in orange-and-blue.
UPDATE!!!! (May 25th)
Knew I'd find it somewhere. Greg Inglis is under contract by the Melbourne Storm until the end of 2012 at a salary of $500,000 a year.
$500,000......as THE BEST RUGBY PLAYER IN THE WORLD.....some of the worst players in the NFL make more money than that, no wonder he's legitimately interested in the NFL.
Minimum salary in the NFL next season is $325,000. I'm sure that anyone who signed Inglis to a contract would be happy to match the $500,000 he's being paid by the Storm.
If Inglis actually panned out in the NFL, he could stand to earn 4-10 times his annual salary with the Storm.