Packers Hosting Welsh Rugby Star For Visit

In one of the more interesting potential moves of the NFL offseason, the Green Bay Packers are hosting a Welsh rugby star for a visit.

Louis Rees-Zammit reportedly subject to NFL interest despite 'disappointment at trials performance' - Rugby World

Louis Rees-Zammit, a former wing and full-back for professional rugby club Gloucester, is scheduling visits across the NFL as a member of the league’s International Player Pathway program.

According to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, Rees-Zammit will be meeting with the Packers on Thursday, March 28. The former rugby star also has visits scheduled with the Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos.

Rees-Zammit is already drawing interest from multiple NFL teams, and now he’s acquired legitimate representation, hiring Kim Miale with Roc Nation.

Who Is Louis Rees-Zammit?

As teams around the league gear up for the 2024 NFL Draft, Rees-Zammit is looking for an opportunity to compete in training camp.

Prior to pursuing his NFL dream, Rees-Zammit was a historic pro rugby player. At just 18 years old, he became the youngest player to ever play in the Premiership for Gloucester.

Rees-Zammit played with the club from 2018 through 2024, while also representing his country, Wales, in multiple Six Nations Championships. He scored 70 points for his country on the senior side, while also scoring 190 points in 69 appearances for his club.

Despite his success in the sport, Rees-Zammit abruptly ended his rugby career in January to pursue an opportunity in the NFL, joining the International Player Pathway program.

Since then, the former rugby star has been hard at work getting ready to try out for NFL teams. He posted some solid numbers at the IPP pro day, running the 40-yard dash in 4.43 seconds while recording a 9’7″ broad jump and 29-inch vertical jump.

The NFL IPP program allows every team to have an additional practice squad spot designated for an international player. The program is designed to give more opportunities for players outside of the United States, and Rees-Zammit is hoping to become the next success story to come out of it.

Jordan Mailata Is the IPP Program’s Biggest Success Story

Rees-Zammit is hoping to break out in the NFL, but he wouldn’t be the first former professional rugby player to have a successful career in the league.

Philadelphia Eagles offensive tackle Jordan Mailata is the NFL IPP program’s biggest success story. A former professional rugby player in Australia, Mailata joined the IPP program to as an imposing figure at over 6’7″ and 346 pounds.

Mailata was taken in the seventh round of the 2018 NFL Draft, and has developed into one of the more reliable left tackles in the league since. The 26-year-old is entering his fifth NFL season in 2024, playing in 62 games and starting in 57 of them.

The NFL is still waiting for its next breakout star to come from overseas, but there are other examples of players coming out of the program to find homes on different teams. Other players that have landed on active rosters include the likes of Jakob Johnson, Efa Obada, and David Bada.

While Rees-Zammit doesn’t have the size of Mailata, his athleticism and success in pro rugby could have him develop into a legitimate NFL player in the coming years.

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