Former English rugby player Travis Clayton taken by Buffalo Bills in NFL draft

Former rugby union player Travis Clayton has been selected by the Buffalo Bills in the 2024 NFL draft.

The Englishman’s selection sees him join former Wales star Louis Rees-Zammit in American football.

Clayton, 23, was selected with the 221st overall pick in the seventh round despite having never played a game in the sport.

The six-foot seven athlete, who played rugby for hometown club Basingstoke, was selected from the NFL’s international player pathway programme as an offensive lineman.

In a social media post, 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.

It comes after 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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