Rugby Canada star Adam Zaruba on the Riders neg list

Canadian rugby sensation Adam Zaruba is getting an NFL opportunity but his CFL rights are owned by the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

A story in the Vancouver Province says that Zaruba, who plays for Canada’s national sevens rugby team, worked out for the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. Philly liked the prospect so much they signed him to a three-year deal Monday.

The 24-year-old is six-foot-five and 265 pounds with what appears to be decent hands…

And he can apparently run a little, too…

Zaruba played football in high school and was recruited by SFU but never took the field before turning his attention to rugby. After getting a call from an agent, Zaruba got some advice from football types including former Calgary Dinos coach and current UBC boss Blike Nill, a former Vanier Cup winner. From the story:

“He worked out with us and it was very, very good for a kid who hasn’t been in that position or that experience for a while,” Nill said.

“What it would come down to for him, you’ve got to look at three elements: he has the physical skills, but does he have the technical skills? Maybe to a lesser degree does he have the mindset — which he should have. He’s played international rugby at a very high level, it’s a level of competing he’s proven he can maintain.”

(Rich Lam Photo credit)

Zaruba worked out with Thunderbirds quarterbacks Michael O’Connor at UBC in advance of the work out with the Eagles.

Sources say that Zaruba was added to the Riders negotiation list in June.