- NRL star Matt Burton could one day play in the NFL
- Combine scouts previously approached Burton’s agent
- Towering left boot makes Burton, 23, an obvious target
NRL star Matt Burton has no immediate plans to join the NFL – but the Bulldogs pivot is ‘open to’ a move to the US ‘down the track.’
The bombshell development comes after Burton’s agent Dave Riolo revealed in 2022 on a podcast scouts had been in contact for the five-eighth to take part in the combine as a punter.
Burton, 23, is locked in at Belmore until the end of the 2027 season – and is the player the club hope to build around as they look to end their finals drought.
But Burton hasn’t ruled out a potential move to the NFL when his NRL career ends, with his booming left boot catching the eye of talent scouts who are impressed by his hang time and ability to belt the Steeden out of trouble.
Australian punters have done well in the NFL, with Mitch Wishnowsky poised to play for San Francisco in the NFC Conference Championship for a spot in the Super Bowl.
Matt Burton’s left footy kicks have become a major weapon for the Bulldogs. Picture: NRL Photos
The bombshell development comes after Burton’s agent Dave Riolo revealed in 2022 scouts had been in contact for the five-eighth to take part in the combine as a punter (pictured, with partner Zoe Warwick)
‘Maybe down the track,’ Burton told the Let’s Trot podcast. ‘You never know. ‘It’d be a mad job to go over there, kick the footy and get paid a motza.’
Burton has the boot to make it in the NFL, and his agent David Riolo revealed scouts had noticed him.
Riolo previously told The Bye Round podcast with host James Graham a move abroad for Burton is ‘currently not on our radar at this stage’ before confirming the approach from eager combine scouts chasing a point of difference.
‘He could do it tomorrow the way he kicks a ball,’ Riolo said. ‘But he wants to play [NRL] footy….he is also only young and has career goals.’
Burton honed his towering kicks as a youngster growing up in Dubbo in central west NSW before moving to Sydney and signing with the Panthers, where he won a premiership in 2021, before moving to Canterbury the following season.
Former Titans playmaker Toby Sexton is firming to be Burton’s halves partner ahead of round one against Parramatta on March 9 – and the pivot revealed Blake Taaffe and fellow off-season recruit Stephen Crichton have both made strong claims to play fullback in 2024.
‘They have both been training the house down,’ Burton said. ‘It comes down to ‘Ciro’ [coach Cameron Ciraldo] and who is training the best.
‘It’s obviously good having a lot of depth this year.’