From South Wales to the NFL - Louis Rees-Zammit's amazing journey so far

It's been an incredibly impressive career so far for the 23 year old. Credit: PA Images

At just 23 years old, he was already a poster boy of Welsh test rugby and now Louis Rees-Zammit appears to be on the edge of starting a dream career in the US as an NFL American Football player.

So just who is the superstar in the making and how did he get here?

Born to play rugby

Raised in Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, his passion for rugby began attending The Cathedral School, in Llandaff.

His youth career began at Cardiff Blues before he moved to study at Hartpury College and then joined Gloucester Rugby's academy.

At 18 his first breakthrough in the senior team was in 2019 and was the club's youngest ever Premiership player.

On top of that he became Gloucester's youngest European player and youngest European try scorer in 2019.

In 2020, Rees-Zammit signed his first professional contract with Gloucester

His first professional contract was with Gloucester Credit: PA

Wearing the Wales shirt

After representing Wales at under-18 level he was called up to the senior squad for the 2020 Six Nations.

His first appearance on the pitch in the Wales shirt was late that year against France in a test match.

He scored his first points for Wales shortly after against Georgia.

His first Six Nations try in 2021 in his debut against Ireland and later scored two against Scotland which led to him winning 'man of the match.'

Roaring with the Lions

In 2021 at just 20 years old he got the prestigious call up to the British & Irish Lions squad for their South African tour - the youngest pick in over sixty years!

He wowed from the start scoring the first tries in their opening game and ended up scoring tries in three of his four appearances.

The shock move to America

In January 2024, he shocked everyone with a surprise announcement he was leaving rugby with immediate effect to “pursue his dream” of a career in American Football.

The bombshell announcement by Gloucester came as Wales head coach Warren Gatland was preparing to name his squad for the Guinness Six Nations Championship.

He confirmed he is joining the NFL’s International Player Pathway programme in Florida, where he has been training as a wide receiver while also doing some running back drills.

Tapping into the City of Fountains

Now Rees-Zammit has signed for Super Bowl champions the Kansas City Chiefs, according to a report in the United States.

He is set to join the Chiefs’ practice squad, having impressed during his time on the NFL’s international player pathway.

The 23-year-old’s signing is expected to be confirmed on Friday, with running back and wide receiver his designated positions.

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce with girlfriend Taylor Swift following his sides Super Bowl LVIII victory. Credit: PA Images

The move comes after he visited several NFL franchises, including the New York Jets, Cleveland Browns and Denver Broncos.

Rees-Zammit’s next goal is to win a place on the Chiefs’ final roster for the new season, joining their star players Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce in targeting a third-successive Super Bowl.

It was reported earlier this month he had split up with his girlfriend and Youtube influencer Saffron Barker

Saffron Barker appeared in Strictly Come Dancing Credit: PA

Wales head coach Warren Gatland says "the door will be open" for Louis Rees-Zammit if his move across the pond doesn't work out.

Gatland says he didn't try to change Rees-Zammit's mind because the young winger is following his dream.

Speaking to ITV Sport, Gatland said: "It all happened so quickly. It was a bit tough when you're naming the squad and you get a call from Gloucester 15 minutes before to say he's being released to go to the NFL or one of those training camps.

"He's a young man, he's 22. He's a big fan of the NFL. I think there's a lot of players, if they were given that opportunity they would love that sort of challenge.

"All I can say is he's following his dreams. He wants to be a star in something, whether that's in rugby or the NFL or on TikTok, I don't know.

"But he fits the bill. He's a good kid and he had a great World Cup for us".

  • Credit: ITV Sport

He added: "If it doesn't work out then the door is open and we'll welcome him back with open arms.

"I just wish him all the best and I hope it sends a message, not just to rugby players but to all young people to follow their dreams and if it doesn't work out then pick another path.

"Don't have any regrets in life and for him, at 22, he goes and does this and he'll try to make it work and if it doesn't I'm sure there will be other opportunities for him."

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