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One is Glendale No. 8 Zac Pauga, the brother of Raptor center Justin Pauga. He played in high school before becoming the most decorated fullback in Colorado State history and signing with the Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent. Pauga has been back playing rugby for about a year, and he’s dropped the excess football weight and is playing well.
“He’s really working really, really hard,” said Glendale coach Andre Snyman of Pauga. “I honestly believe that he’s got a shot at the Eagle jersey…We’re working on his individual skill as well. He’s a great athlete. He’s still a student of the game, he’s still learning it. Every game he’s getting better and better and he’s a plus for the team.”
Pauga is a big, ferocious, powerful runner who moves faster than his 6-1 240-pound frame would suggest. He definitely has the athleticism, and the fitness and rugby knowledge are on the way.
The other football guy is Utah’s John Cullen. Even though his days of playing rugby for the Utes are over, he’s fully committed to making a run at an Eagles jersey.
“I haven’t really thought of jumping into a career anytime soon,” said Cullen, “and I don’t have a mortgage or kids or anything like that, or a car payment really, so I’m pretty mobile and able to move around, so I’m pretty open to doing the rugby life for the next couple years and go that route.”
Cullen still needs some credits this summer to graduate, but then he’ll be looking for a men’s club team to catch on with. He already has plenty of suitors he’s been in contact with.
Cullen was a second-team PAC left tackle for the Utes in 2011, and he too was signed as an undrafted free agent before eventually being cut and going back to school. This spring he was terrorizing some of the best teams in the country before Utah’s suspension.