NRL players challenged to tough hang bar contest ahead of Las Vegas opener

Which NRL player would perform the best at the Las Vegas contest?

Damien Cook and the other NRL players have been challenged to the hang bar contest while in the US. (Getty Images/Provided)
Damien Cook and the other NRL players have been challenged to the hang bar contest while in the US. (Getty Images/Provided)

There are plenty of ways to do your dough in Las Vegas – and we're not just talking roulette wheels and blackjack tables. When day turns to night, the famous Vegas strip on Fremont St is bustling with hustlers, conmen and hawkers all eager to separate an unsuspecting tourist from his greenbacks.

Then there's the sidewalk attractions that look too good to be true – and usually are – when it comes to winning money. The hang bar challenge fits this description neatly. For a $US10 fee you can attempt to hang from a metal bar for 100 seconds to win $200.

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Sound easy? Not really, thanks to a long list of rules. You are not allowed to do pull-ups, use a switch hand grip or swing.

And just to add to the pressure, loud music blasts from nearby speakers as a spruiker shouts incessantly in a bid to put you off. The bar also twists. You hear of the occasional winner but most wilt under the pressure and strain not long into the contest.

Now some of the NRL's strongest players have been invited to take on the hang bar while they're in Vegas for this weekend's season kick-off. If they're allowed out on the strip after fulltime in Sunday's (AEDT) double header, organisers are encouraging them to have a crack.

"Yeah, man, tell them to look us up. We've had plenty of athletes come and give it a go," one hang bar spruiker told Yahoo Sport Australia. "Those rugby (league) dudes look pretty cut so I recon they'd go okay."

Which NRL players would thrive at the challenge?

So, we turned to an expert for his thoughts. Trainer Don Singe spent three decades as Head of Performance with Manly, Canterbury and the New Zealand national side.

We asked him to view video of the hang bar challenge before declaring the players best equipped to take it on. "It’s a good solid muscular endurance test. I can’t see any tricks," Singe told us.

"It is a genuine test of strength. A lighter player will handle this a lot better than the heavier boys. From Manly I'd go Lachlan Croker. I’ve seen him go underwater for 50m on one breath … tough mindset and strong body.

"Damien Cook at Souths. He will scrap with himself harder than an opponent. Very good. (Brisbane's) Billy Walters has pure DNA and is physically strong with weight and output ratio.

"With the Roosters I’d go Luke Keary - tough, disciplined and competitive- just ahead of Lindsay Collins and Brandon Smith." Anyone who last the distance will join the select group of hang bar hall of famers.

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