Christian Wade: Buffalo Bills choose not to pick former rugby player in NFL roster

Former Wasps and England rugby winger Christian Wade has missed out on a place in the Buffalo Bills team for the 2019 NFL season.

Wade scored a touchdown with his first carry in pre-season but was cut as the Bills named their 53-man roster.

The running back, 28, quit rugby union in October 2018 to pursue an NFL career, joining the Bills in April.

Despite missing out this time, Wade is guaranteed a spot on the Bills' practice squad for another year.

NFL teams had until Saturday to cut their off-season training roster down to 53 for the regular season, which starts on Thursday, 5 September.

Speaking in his BBC Sport column before 'cutdown day', Wade said: "It wouldn't be the end of the road if I don't make the team.

"I have a roster exemption so I'd stay on the practice squad and get the whole year to keep growing as a football player, then get another opportunity next year."

Wade joined the NFL as part of the International Player Pathway programme, which allowed him to train with the Bills during pre-season with the hope of making their 53-man regular season roster for 2019.

The former British and Irish Lion now enters waivers, which allows another NFL team to "claim" him and place him on their 53-man roster.

If that does not happen he can rejoin the Bills' 10-man practice squad - from where he can be called up to play at any point during the season and can also sign for another team.

Or, most likely, the Bills will make him an exempt 11th member of the squad, which means he would not be able to play in 2019 or sign for another team - giving Wade another year to learn the intricacies of American football.

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