World Rugby

Report: Louis Rees-Zammit to Sign With Super Bowl Champ Kansas City Chiefs

Report: Louis Rees-Zammit to Sign With Super Bowl Champ Kansas City Chiefs

The Wales international, who stunned the rugby world when he announced that he'd be pursuing an American football career, has reportedly found a NFL home.

Mar 27, 2024 by Briar Napier
Report: Louis Rees-Zammit to Sign With Super Bowl Champ Kansas City Chiefs

Louis Rees-Zammit, widely considered one of the brightest young stars in rugby union before announcing a shock move earlier this year to pursue a career in American football, is expected to sign with the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs, per a report from Bleacher Report’s Jordan Schultz.

The 23-year-old Wales international, who left Premiership side Gloucester to join the NFL’s International Player Pathway Program (IPPP) in January, has been fielding interest from multiple teams since participating in the NFL’s international player pro day last week and has reportedly agreed to terms with the reigning Super Bowl champions. 

Per Schultz, Rees-Zammit is expected to play as a running back and wide receiver in Kansas City, which would make him part of one of the most electric offenses in the sport alongside quarterback and two-time NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes, four-time first-team All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce and numerous other weapons under the direction of three-time Super Bowl-winning coach Andy Reid.

Kansas City appeared in its fourth Super Bowl since 2019 this past season, winning its third and second straight in that stretch with an overtime victory over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII in February in Las Vegas.

Rees-Zammit has already had a decorated career despite his young age, being the youngest player to be selected to a British & Irish Lions squad since 1959 in 2021 while additionally being the stars of Wales’ squad at the 2023 Rugby World Cup, where it made the knockout rounds. He has spent the entirety of his senior club rugby career at Gloucester, being its youngest-ever Premiership player at 18 years and 70 days in 2019.

Best-known in rugby circles for his pace and agility, Rees-Zammit clocked an official time of 4.43 in the 40-yard dash at his pro day, a mark which would’ve placed him fifth among running backs and tied for 13th among wide receivers at this year’s NFL Combine for NFL Draft prospects coming out of college football. He, along with everyone else in this year’s IPPP class, has been participating for the past 10 weeks in a training camp at IMG Academy in Florida, getting a crash course in American football and how to play it at a high level.

The Chiefs under Reid, especially since Mahomes became the team’s starting quarterback in 2018, have been well-known for an offense focused around speed and playmaking. Former Chief wide receiver Tyreek Hill (now with the Miami Dolphins) and his speed saw him evolve into one of the league’s best wideouts under Mahomes, for instance, whereas other fast-paced pass-catchers have also thrived in Kansas City’s offense.

Rees-Zammit is far from the first rugby player to try his hand at American football, with other union players before him such as current Racing 92 wing Christian Wade (Buffalo Bills) and former Saracens lock Hayden Smith (New York Jets) giving it a go in the past. Likely slated for the practice squad one he signs somewhere, NFL teams have been allowed for the first time a 17th practice squad spot made specifically for an international player, with teams allowed to move such a player to the active roster a maximum of three times per season.

A total of five players who have gone through the IPPP program since its establishment in 2017 have made a NFL team’s 53-man active roster, most notably ex-rugby league player Jordan Mailata, who is now a standout offensive lineman for the Philadelphia Eagles.