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Gloucester star Louis Reece-Zammit joins NFL International Pathway

Gloucester and Wales winger Louis Reece-Zammit has quit rugby to pursue a new career in the NFL, as he joins the NFL international path

Gloucester and Wales winger Louis Reece-Zammit has quit rugby to pursue a new career in the NFL, as he joins the NFL international pathway.

‘LRZ’ isn’t the only Rugby Union player to trod this path, with former British and Irish Lion player Christian Wade, Tyrese Johnson-Fisher and Christian Scotland-Williamson all having spent time playing American Football, with Scotland-Williamson featuring for NFL outfit Pittsburgh Steelers.

In a statement posted to the club’s website, Rees-Zammit said:

“Gloucester Rugby has been a huge part of my life. From the start at Hartpury College and my first professional rugby contract with Gloucester in 2020, to my Wales and Lions caps; the Club has been central to my development as a player, and I’m so grateful for their support.”

“I will always be very proud of my time at Kingsholm and want to particularly thank the incredible fans who make the Club so special. Also, to my teammates, to George Skivington and Alex Brown, thank you for giving me such special memories and for supporting this next stage of my career.

“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 Chief Executive Officer, Alex Brown, also commented on the departure of Rees-Zammit, saying:

“We understand the size of the opportunity before Zam and his lifelong ambition to play in the NFL.”

“Whilst we are naturally sad to see him leave, ultimately, we are not able to dissuade him from taking an opportunity of this magnitude with the NFL.

“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.”

Rees-Zammit will leave the UK for Florida this week to begin the IPP programme, with the potential to be selected for an NFL side in the future.

Louis Rees-Zammit’s time in Rugby

The Cardiff native first came through the Cardiff academy, however he quickly moved to Hartpury College, and was then picked up by Gloucester.

He burst into Gloucester’s first team back in 2018, with his electric pace instantly taking the eye. Rees lightning-as he became known-quickly became a starter for his club side, and it wouldn’t be long until he was picked up for higher honours.

He made his Wales debut back in 2020 and has a total of 31 caps for his country-the last of which coming during the World Cup back in October.

The winger was also selected to tour with the British and Irish Lions in 2021. He would feature in the midweek team, however he was not selected for any of the tests against South Africa.

He was also the youngest ever player to be selected for the Lions since 1959.