Man mountain Jordan Mailata and punter Arryn Siposs will make Australian sporting history when they play for Philadelphia against Kansas City in the Super Bowl.
The Eagles have activated Siposs from injured reserve to make him eligible for Monday’s (AEDT) game in Phoenix. The 30-year-old has been out of NFL action since injuring his ankle on December 12 against the New York Giants.
With Siposs back in the Eagles lineup, it will be the first time two Australians have played in a Super Bowl.
Mailata is in the Eagles’ starting lineup and has become one of the NFL’s top left tackles – a key role where he protects their quarterback Jalen Hurts. Siposs’ return means he should reclaim the punting job from fill-in Brett Kern.
If the Eagles win, it will also be the first time an Australian has had an on-field role in a Super Bowl title.
Jesse Williams won a Super Bowl ring with the Seattle Seahawks in 2014, but he was an injured reserve and he never made his NFL debut.
Ben Graham was the first Australian to make the Super Bowl in Arizona’s 2009 loss, while Mitch Wishnowsky was in the San Francisco 49ers side that went down in 2020.
Adding to the Eagles’ Australian connection, Matt Leo is in their practice squad.
The Super Bowl will be the latest highlight in two of the more remarkable Australian stories since Colin Ridgway became the first NFL player from this country, for Dallas in 1965.
Siposs played 28 AFL games for St Kilda from 2011-14, but he was hampered by injuries and never found his niche. He tried American football in 2017 and joined the Eagles two years ago.
Mailata, all 203cm and 166kg of him, abandoned his attempts to make it in the NRL five years ago to try his luck in America. He knew nothing about the game then, but the Eagles saw his vast potential and drafted him only a few months after Mailata went to the United States.
Siposs averaged 45.6 yards per punt this season with a 40.5-yard net average. Kern struggled in his place, averaging 42.2 yards per punt with a 37.7-yard net average.
Siposs played 28 AFL Games for St Kilda between 2011-2015 before making the switch.
The Eagles also promoted safety Anthony Harris and receiver Greg Ward from the practice squad to the active roster.
Adding Ward gives the Eagles insurance at punt returner and backup receiver in case Britain Covey is unavailable to play because of a hamstring injury. Covey is listed as questionable.
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