All of the current media focus is on Jarryd Hayne and other potential Rugby League converts, bringing an unprecedented level of attention to the current NFL season in Australia. However, another aspect of Rugby League that could become more prevalent is the lateral pass, or as it’s referred to in the NRL, a pass.
American football, much like Rugby League, was based on Rugby Union, and over the years both have changed rules to adapt to their respective styles of play. One key rule introduced in the early 1900’s in American football that differentiated itself from both Rugby League and Rugby Union was the forward pass. This rule ended any semblance between the codes, and is one of the key reasons the codes look so different today. The lateral pass was all but taken out of the NFL play book for all but the most desperate situations.
In more recent years, however, there has been more of a focus on adopting lateral passes in the game. During his 11-year career, after an interception or a fumble, NFL Safety Ed Reed lateraled the ball nine times and was on the receiving end of a lateral three times, two of these producing touch downs. Even as recently as last year’s playoffs the New England Patriots used a trick play involving a lateral from Tom Brady to Julian Edelman which Edelman then threw to Danny Amendola for a touch down. American football high school coach Kevin Kelley of the Pulaski Academy in Arkansas has also adopted unorthodox Rugby style plays after seeing a game on tv. He is also known as “the coach who never punts!”
See more here: