Former NFL star Reggie Bush shocked by footage of former Warriors player Iafeta Paleaaesina

Publish Date
Tuesday, 10 January 2023, 10:30AM

Former NFL star Reggie Bush has described rugby league as a ‘crazy sport’ after watching a highlights reel of New Zealand Warriors legend Iafeta Paleaaesina.

Bush was a Super Bowl winner with the New Orleans Saints in 2010 and owns plenty of highlight-reel plays himself, however when shown footage of the kind of signature, barn-storming hit-ups that Paleaaesina consistently made for the Warriors in the early 2000s, his reaction was one of shock.

“Now this sport is crazy! Lol! Running like that with no helmet is nuts,” Bush posted on Twitter.

In response, Steve Price - the former Warriors captain who played one season with Paleaaesina in 2005 - said that Bush would have been an ideal suitor to the NRL.

“U would’ve loved playing our game,” Price said.

Another punter mentioned that Bush should also watch footage of State of Origin matches, prompting the the 2005 Heisman Trophy winner to mention that he’d seen Origin rugby league played in the flesh.

“I’ve been to State of Origin once and it was a blood bath someone getting carted off the field every 5 minutes,” Bush said of his experience watching New South Wales defeat Queensland 6-4 in 2014.

“It’s my first game here... Obviously a lot of hard hits, a very physical game. It’s just exciting to watch. It was very intense. You can see and feel the intensity in the stadium,” Bush said as part of the television coverage of that match at the time before going on to say how that intensity was almost overwhelming.

“Fans are getting a little restless because they want to see a few more scores but so far it’s been a defensive game. I know enough about rugby league to know how physical it is... I’m not surprised, but to see it in person is different to watching it on TV. It hurts to watch.”

Paleaaesina played 83 matches for the Warriors between 2001 and 2005, carving out a name for himself as a fearless prop, before signing on to play in British Super League as a 22-year-old where, despite his apparent disregard for personal safety, he remained a fixture for over a decade.

This article was first published on and is republished here with permission

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