NFL: Christian Wade ‘speechless’ after signing for the Buffalo Bills
Former rugby union star takes major step towards American football dream
Christian Wade admits that he was left speechless and had to hold back the tears after signing for NFL team the Buffalo Bills.
The former Wasps and England winger, 27, announced last October that he was retiring from rugby union to pursue his dream of playing American football.
After spending the past three months training alongside NFL players and draft hopefuls in Florida, Wade will join Buffalo’s practice squad for 2019 as part of the NFL’s International Player Pathway program.
Capped by England once and selected by the British and Irish Lions in 2013 Wade scored 82 tries in Premiership Rugby - the third highest total of all time.
In a statement the NFL said he is projected to be running back and has “outstanding athletic ability and a versatile skill set”.
He told the BBC: “Every week that has gone by has exceeded my expectations. At this stage I’m speechless.
“For me this is another step closer to my dream and what I set out to achieve from the start. It’s making me emotional thinking about the risk I took and the magnitude of the move.”
In an interview with Sky Sports News Wade said he has been holding back the tears after it was confirmed he would play with the Bills.
“I’ve been trying not to tear up all morning,” he added. “Obviously with the things I achieved in rugby, to then go and walk away from that to go and to do this, it’s been huge.
“I don’t think many people can understand how much this whole thing means to me. To get that call took me back a bit.
“It’s only the beginning, but I’m really excited and happy inside. It’s a lot to process right now, and whenever I’m speaking about where I’ve been and now this is happening, I feel like I start to slip into understanding that a little bit, but I’m sure when I go home I’ll probably be bawling.
“I know it’s huge, I just haven’t processed the whole thing yet.”