ONE TOUGH NUT!
We have all known for a long, long time just how tough rugby league players are. But Paul Wood's effort in the recent Super League Europe Grand Final playing for the Warrington Wolves has hit the air waves in America and really put our great game on the map!
For those who haven't heard. Paul sustained a testicle injury in the first minute of the second half of the championship final against eventual winners, the Leed Rhino's. It blew up the size of a tennis ball. Ouch! Amazingly, he played on an endured the pain. After the match he was taken to the hospital to have emergency surgery to remove his ruptured testicle.
Following on from his courageous performance, his story began to spread internationally and found it's way to the USA.
The New York Daily News led their coverage with "Now that takes balls" read more here
CNN International and in the US featured the story here
Wood was interviewed today in America by former ESPN Sports Reporter and now NFL on NBC host Dan Patrick, who's radio show is nationally syndicated. Check it out
Paul's plight reminds me of a coaching clinic during a school visit in New York a few years back. I showed a group of kids some video of rugby league and followed up with a few questions about the difference between American Football and rugby league. After a few of the usual responses like, 'no forward passes', 'no blocking', 'no heavy padding', one of the kids came up with this classic; 'your balls are bigger'!
Well I guess in Paul Wood's case, they sure are...or were! :)
That's one way of getting rugby league some headlines in the USA!