Former rugby player Christian Wade has been allocated to the Buffalo Bills as part of the NFL’s International Player Pathway Program, the team announced on Monday.
The 5-foot-8, 190-pound Wade was a highly decorated rugby star in the United Kingdom, having played for the national team at the U16, U18 and U20 levels, as well as making the British and Irish Lions squad. He retired from the rugby union last year to pursue playing in the NFL.
Wade’s 82 tries (touchdowns) in Premiership Rugby, mostly as a ballcarrier, is third all-time and he has been designated as a running back with the Bills.
Wade, 27, is one of seven international athletes from five countries who have been training in Florida with the goal of landing one of four placements among AFC East teams this offseason. He participated in a pro day last week, where he was timed at 4.53 seconds in the 40-yard dash.
The four clubs will be allowed to carry an extra player (91 total) during training camp and, should the player not make the final roster, will also receive an extra practice squad spot for the allotted player. However, those placed on the practice squad with the international player exemption will be ineligible to be activated during the season.
The International Player Pathway Program began in 2017 and rotates through divisions each year.
—Field Level Media