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Taumalolo not thinking of NFL

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 4 days ago Angelo Risso

Jason Taumalolo © Scott Barbour/Getty Images Jason Taumalolo Dally M medallist Jason Taumalolo has shrugged off suggestions he's angling for a shock switch to the NFL.

News Corp reported last month that the 23-year-old Cowboys lock had caught the eye of three NFL clubs after a barnstorming NRL campaign.

Taumalolo made almost 4500 metres with the ball and more than 80 tackle breaks in 2016 as his side fell to eventual premiers Cronulla in the semi-final.

The Kiwi is contracted to his Townsville-based club until the end of 2017, and told reporters on Wednesday he hadn't heard anything from US franchises.

He doubted the prospect of an NFL switch or training stint would come up again in 2016, with his Test side's Four Nations campaign imminent.

"If they do approach me, obviously I'll talk to them," Taumalolo said.

"It's rugby league for now."

Taumalolo had told Fox Sports News in January he was awed by Titans star Jarryd Hayne's brief NFL stint with the San Francisco 49ers.

He said at the time that gridiron was a long-term possibility.

The 113kg wrecking ball, who was the first forward to win the Dally M medal in a decade, heads off to England on Wednesday with his Kiwis teammates.

He was unusually left to twiddle his thumbs on the bench for stretches of last weekend's 26-6 loss to Australia in Perth, after coach David Kidwell forgot to bring him back on.

Taumalolo said he was yet to speak to the new Kiwis boss about the incident, for which Kidwell apologised, but stood behind him.

He also admitted he was short of 100 per cent match fitness after struggling with a knee complaint all season.

He'd have to manage his knee for the remainder of his career.

"I've just got to get myself used to it and get myself ready, and mentally prepare for a game," Taumalolo said.

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