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Louis Rees-Zammit lands NFL contract with Kansas City Chiefs
Rugby union Sport

Louis Rees-Zammit lands NFL contract with Kansas City Chiefs

The Super Bowl champions, Kansas City Chiefs, have signed the former Wales rugby union international Louis Rees-Zammit.

Rees-Zammit, 23, quit rugby ­earlier this year to pursue a career in the NFL. He joined through the league’s ­international player ­pathway (IPP) and impressed the Chiefs during his trial, with ­running back and wide receiver his designated positions.

The Chiefs said on their ­website: “The Kansas City Chiefs made an international splash on Friday with the addition of former European rugby star Louis Rees-­Zammit to the roster” and called him “Rees-Lightning”.

Rees-Zammit, who visited several NFL franchises, including New York Jets, Cleveland Browns and Denver Broncos, said in a video posted by the Chiefs on X that he had “just signed, can’t wait to go, and see you all at Arrowhead [Stadium]”.

His next goal is to win a place on the Chiefs’ final 53-man roster for the new season, joining their star ­players like Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce in targeting a third successive Super Bowl.

The former Gloucester, Wales and British & Irish Lions wing stunned the world of rugby in January by quitting the sport in an attempt to secure a contract with an NFL team in 2024. That dream moved a step closer when he impressed during last week’s Pro Day that forms part of the IPP.

The Chiefs said: “Rees-­Zammit ­participated in the international player pathway programme ­workout ­earlier this month, which provided the ­former rugby star with an ­opportunity to show NFL scouts what he could do. His ­workout included a 4.44-second 40-yard dash, which would have ranked fifth among tailbacks at the 2024 NFL scouting combine.”

The Chiefs listed Rees-Zammit as a running back, a position where Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Jerick ­McKinnon are both free agents, which could leave little depth behind starter Isiah Pacheco.

Rees-Zammit’s former Wales teammate Josh Adams offered his ­congratulations, posting on X: “Trip to Kansas sorted then! ­Better order my LRZ chiefs jersey. ­LouisReesZammit Amazing mate fair play.”

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland’s Charlie Smyth, a Gaelic football goalkeeper with Down GAA, has signed a contract as a kicker with New Orleans Saints.

Smyth, 22, will compete for a roster spot with Blake Grupe, who made 30 of 37 field goals and all 40 of his extra points as a rookie last season.

Source: theguardian.com