Ex-Eagles, Newcastle Falcons and Lions flanker Todd Clever is visiting a wrestling performance centre after being invited by WWE scouts

WWE welcomes former America rugby captain Todd Clever

Former USA Eagles captain Todd Clever has been in Orlando, Florida to check out World Wrestling Entertainment’s performance centre this week.

A web posting from WWE said: “At the invitation of WWE scouts, retired flanker Todd Clever is in Orlando to check out the world-renowned training facility. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound Clever holds the distinction of being the first American to play in Super Rugby competition. He is also the most capped player in US history, meaning he has appeared in more games at the international level than any other American.

“Nicknamed ‘Captain America’ for his many stints captaining the Eagles, Clever announced his retirement from rugby last June. Prior to that, he spent 11 years in professional competition, including playing for clubs in England, Japan, New Zealand and South Africa.”

WWE welcomes former America rugby captain Todd Clever

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The statement from WWE ended with the ominous line “What could Clever’s presence at the WWE PC mean as WWE’s talent development team continues scouting prospects from the world of rugby?” It is an intriguing prospect. At the end of last year, a posting went out on Twitter from Rugby Vacancies looking for any “current or recently retired rugby player(s)” interested in applying – and as you can see from the reaction from some players, that it is an idea many would entertain.

There is a surprising crossover between rugby and wrestling. USA Eagles and Toulon bruiser Samu Manoa’s uncle is the former wrestler known as The Barbarian and Wallabies and Leicester hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau is cousins with Haku, another former wrestling star.

Well-known ex-champ John Layfield – also known as Bradshaw – has worked hard for the rugby charity Beyond Rugby Bermuda and has welcomed Saracens to the island before, while former Lions and England prop Alex Corbisiero is renowned for his love of wrestling.