Louis Rees-Zammit leaves Gloucester to join the NFL International Player Pathway

Louis Rees-Zammit to join NFL International Player Pathway
Louis Rees-Zammit to join NFL International Player Pathway

Wales international Louis Rees-Zammit will be leaving rugby union with immediate effect to join the NFL international player pathway.

He has been granted an early release from his club Gloucester as he aims to seal a place in an American football team which means he cannot be part of the upcoming Six Nations squad for Wales.

Describing the move as 'a once in a lifetime opportunity', Rees-Zammit is looking to explore the new challenge and thanked his club Gloucester for agreeing to release him from the contract early.

"I am extremely excited to take up a once in a lifetime opportunity to pursue a new challenge," Rees-Zammit said.

"Rather at this age and stage of my life I am excited to explore a unique challenge that has the potential to diversify my skillset.

"My immense gratitude goes to Gloucester Rugby - a club that is extremely close to my heart - and particularly George Skivington (head coach) and Alex Brown (chief executive) for allowing me to head in a different direction over the next few weeks.

"My best wishes go to Wales for the upcoming Six Nations and the year ahead, while I will continue to closely follow the continued progress of Gloucester from afar."

The 22-year-old made his professional rugby debut with Gloucester in 2018 and has gone on to play for them in 77 games. Rees-Zammit represented Wales at under-18 level and was called to the Test squad under Wayne Pivac for the 2020 Six Nations campaign. He has been capped 32 times for Wales and was named in the squad for the 2021 British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa.

"We understand the size of the opportunity before Zam and his lifelong ambition to play in the NFL," said Gloucester Chief Executive Officer Alex Brown.

"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.”