Harrison Smith and Kyle Rudolph backing London to get an NFL franchise

Last Updated: 27/03/13 5:56pm

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Kyle Rudolph: London should be in running for an NFL franchise

Kyle Rudolph: London should be in running for an NFL franchise

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Minnesota Vikings stars Harrison Smith and Kyle Rudolph expect the NFL to have a franchise in London sooner rather than later.

Calls for a team to be established in Great Britain have amplified in recent months and the Vikings are one of four teams who will play at Wembley next season with the International Series extended to two games.

The matches - the Pittsburgh Steelers face the Vikings on 29 September before the San Francisco 49ers tackle the Jacksonville Jaguars on 27 October - sold out within weeks.

Smith is touring the country on a series of fan-forum events and he is convinced that there are plenty of benefits in globalising the sport.

Smith, who plays at safety, said: "Ultimately, in the US, we have hit all of the markets and it is just time to expand. I think there will be a team here.

"We were talking about being drafted over here throughout the trip and we all think it would be awesome. If we had been drafted to a London team, we would have been excited to go."

Tight-end Rudolph added: "It is becoming a global game. The globalisation of the NFL is making sense, it is getting to the point (of having a franchise).

"We are playing more and more games over here. It's an incredible opportunity because you see so many other sports that are global.

"We feel like we have the best game in the world and to be able to share that all across the world would be great."

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