Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Former English rugby player Travis Clayton drafted by NFL team Buffalo Bills

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Former rugby player Travis Clayton has been drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the NFL, with the Englishman joining former Wales rugby star Louis Rees-Zammit in American football.

Clayton, 23, was selected with the 221st overall pick in the seventh round of the NFL draft despite having never played a game on the gridiron.

The six-foot seven athlete from Basingstoke was selected from the NFL’s International Player Pathway programme as an offensive lineman.

In a post on X, Clayton thanked fans in the UK for the support he has had on his journey.

He said: “Just want to shout out all the UK fans for sticking by me and supporting me and look, I’ve made it to the NFL and now it’s time to represent and show the rest of the world exactly why UK athletes should play in the NFL.”

Clayton recorded his 40-yard dash in 4.79 seconds during the draft combine, which the Bills said was faster than all offensive lineman have recorded over the last 10 years.

As well as rugby, Clayton has spent time boxing and playing tennis.

It comes after former Wales rugby star Rees-Zammit signed for Super Bowl champions the Kansas City Chiefs in March.

Rees-Zammit, who announced his decision to leave rugby union in January, impressed the Chiefs during his time on the NFL’s international player pathway, with running back and wide receiver his designated positions.

The former Gloucester, Wales and British and Irish Lions wing stunned the world of rugby in January by quitting the sport in an attempt to secure a contract with an NFL team in 2024.

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