Home » Louis Rees-Zammit ditches rugby for NFL on day of Six Nations squad announcement
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Louis Rees-Zammit ditches rugby for NFL on day of Six Nations squad announcement

THE rugby world was left stunned as Louis Rees-Zammit, the rising star from Wales, announced his departure from the sport to pursue a career in American football. The revelation came just moments before Warren Gatland was set to unveil his Six Nations squad, where Rees-Zammit was expected to be a key inclusion.

The 22-year-old winger, who plays for Gloucester, has left rugby with immediate effect to embark on a journey towards the National Football League (NFL). Gloucester officially confirmed his release on Tuesday afternoon, disclosing that Rees-Zammit had accepted an invitation to join the NFL International Player Pathway – a programme offering athletes a chance to secure a spot on an NFL roster.

Rees-Zammit’s decision draws parallels with former England winger Christian Wade, who successfully transitioned to American football in recent years, earning a place on the pre-season roster for the Buffalo Bills.

Expressing his gratitude to Gloucester, Rees-Zammit said, “Gloucester Rugby has been a huge part of my life.” He recounted his journey from Hartpury College to earning his first professional rugby contract in 2020 and acknowledged the pivotal role the club played in his development as a player. The winger, who has represented both Wales and the Lions, thanked the club’s fans, teammates, and coaching staff for their support.

Addressing the media on his decision, Rees-Zammit stated, “I have had the incredible honour of playing rugby for my country which, as a proud Welshman, I’ve never taken for granted. However, I believe that this is the right time for me to realise another professional goal of playing American football in the US. Those opportunities don’t come around very often.”

Gloucester CEO, Alex Brown, acknowledged the enormity of the opportunity for Rees-Zammit and expressed the club’s understanding of his lifelong ambition. While expressing sadness at the departure, Brown recognised that the club couldn’t dissuade the player from seizing an opportunity of such magnitude. Brown added, “We remain very proud of the role Gloucester Rugby has played in helping to develop him into the world-class player he has become, and we wish him the very best in the US. He will always be welcome at Kingsholm.”

The news of Rees-Zammit’s departure has added an unexpected twist to Gatland’s Six Nations squad announcement, with fans and pundits alike grappling with the surprising turn of events. As Rees-Zammit sets his sights on the NFL, the rugby world will undoubtedly be watching his journey with keen interest, marking this as a unique chapter in the career of one of Wales’ most promising talents.