Former rugby star moves into NFL with Buffalo Bills

Former English rugby star Christian Wade’s dream of making it big in the NFL moved a step closer Monday after he joined the Buffalo Bills, the NFL side confirmed.

The 27-year-old quit rugby last October to join the NFL’s International Pathway Program, which offers players from outside the US a way into the sport.

Wade ran in 82 tries for Wasps during his spell with the club, making him the third highest try scorer in the history of England’s top division.

The former winger will join the NFL side as a running back after impressing at a training camp in Florida last week. Wade clocked 4.53 seconds for a 40-yard dash at the Pro Day in Tampa.

In a post on Instagram, Wade said he was “lost for words right now.”

Wade, a long-time NFL fan, told CNN in November he was looking for a new challenge outside of rugby.

He won just one cap for England in 2013 before falling out of favor with then England coach Stuart Lancaster.

“I just felt I needed a new challenge,” he told CNN Sport. “I felt like I had come to a point where something like the NFL was a great opportunity and something I believe I can do well in.”

Wade had been expected to be included in the NFL Draft later this month but will now focus on his future with the Bills.

He will not be eligible to play for the Bills this season, but the International Player Pathway enables him to train with the club and attempt to win a place on the roster for next season.