Louis Rees-Zammit to rub shoulders with NFL stars Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce after signing for Kansas City Chiefs

Former Wales and British & Irish Lions star Louis Rees-Zammit has signed for Super Bowl champions the Kansas City Chiefs on a three-year deal, the NFL giants announced on Friday.

The 23-year-old speedster, who made the shock decision to quit rugby union in January, impressed during his recent period on the NFL’s international player pathway.

His move to walk away from the 15-man game came shortly before Wales‘ Six Nations campaign as he looked to realise his NFL dream and it’s been a rapid rise ever since.

International splash

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Rees-Zammit‘s numbers during the player pathway programme caught the eye of scouts, with running back and wide receiver poised to be his designated NFL positions.

The Chiefs said on their official 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.”

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The former Gloucester finisher, who visited several NFL franchises, including the New York Jets, Cleveland Browns and Denver Broncos, said in a video posted by the Chiefs on X, formerly Twitter, that he had “just signed and can’t wait to go”.

Rees-Zammit will now be determined to secure a spot on the Chiefs’ final roster for the new campaign as he looks to play alongside Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce.

The back-to-back Super Bowl champions, added: “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.”

Rees-Zammit scored 14 tries in 31 Tests for Wales and was part of the British & Irish Lions squad on the 2021 tour to South Africa, although he did not play in the series.

Challenges ahead

The former Gloucester wing still has lots more work to do if he is going to get into a team that contains stars such as Mahomes and Kelce.

Even if he has the athleticism to succeed, the difficultly comes in learning the routes and understanding the sport against individuals that have played it their entire life.

However, if he doesn’t make the main 53-man roster for the NFL campaign, the former Wales star will likely go on to the practice squad.

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