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Chiefs Sign Former European Rugby Star Louis Rees-Zammit

Rees-Zammit joined the NFL’s International Player Pathway Program in January


The Kansas City Chiefs made an international splash on Friday with the addition of former European rugby star Louis Rees-Zammit to the roster.

The 23-year-old Rees-Zammit, who announced that he was leaving rugby for an opportunity in the NFL back in January, has been a member of the Welsh national team since 2020. Here's more on Rees-Zammit from Forbes’ Vitas Carosella:

"The 22-year old has been a professional rugby player since age 18. He was a mainstay on the wing with his club side Gloucester in England and for the Welsh national team after making his international debut in 2020. He has already competed in multiple 6 Nations, last year's Rugby World Cup and was selected for the British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa in 2021. At age 20, he was the youngest player to make the Lions since 1959.

Louis Rees Zammit is known for his electric pace, having once clocked 24.2 miles per hour in a rugby game…Rees Zammit's speed has made him a try scoring machine, with 14 tries in 31 matches for his country, including four at last year's Rugby World Cup."

Rees-Zammit participated in the International Player Pathway Program 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.

As for why Rees-Zammit chose to leave a bright future in European rugby behind in favor of pursing an opportunity in the NFL, he explained his reasoning at the IPP workout:

"It's always been on my mind," Rees-Zammit told Rob Maaddi of the Associated Press. "My dad has been a massive role model to me because he brought me up loving the sport. He played the sport when he was younger so it's quite easy to love the game because I've been watching it from such a young age. So, it's always been in the back of my head, but it's just amazing to finally do it now."

Rees-Zammit later added that his favorite player as a child was wide receiver DeSean Jackson, who played for Chiefs' Head Coach Andy Reid for five seasons in Philadelphia. Now a member of the Chiefs, Rees-Zammit will have that same opportunity.

The Kansas City Chiefs add former European rugby star Louis Rees-Zammit to the roster