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Louis Rees-Zammit 'disappointed' with 40-yard-dash time

By Ian Cameron
Louis Rees-Zammit of Gloucester Rugby looks dejected as he leaves the field at full-time after their teams defeat in the Gallagher Premiership Rugby match between Exeter Chiefs and Gloucester Rugby at Sandy Park on November 19, 2023 in Exeter, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Louis Rees-Zammit has expressed disappointment at his 40-yard-dash time at the NFL Pro Day – the latest step in his journey through the 2024 International Player Pathway Program.

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Despite already receiving offers from multiple NFL teams, the former Wales winger’s 40-yard dash time left him wanting more.

At the University of South Florida and in front of scouts from all 32 NFL franchises; Rees-Zammit recorded a 4.44-second dash – a time that apparently didn’t meet his own high expectations of the event.

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Known for his remarkable speed on the rugby field, Rees-Zammit had achieved faster times in training, aiming for the 4.2s and 4.3s range.

“LRZ told me he was disappointed with his time in the 4.4s and said he’s run in the 4.2s and 4.3s,” reported Rob Maaddi, a senior NFL reporter for the Associated Press.

To contextualize Rees-Zammit’s performance, it’s worth noting that since 2013, only 11 players have managed a sub-4.30 second sprint at the NFL Combine. While 4.44 is good time, realistically the former Gloucester winger would have wanted to post that a time that put him among the sport’s elite, to give him a greater point of difference as he plays catch-up against athletes that have been playing the sport since childhood.

This Pro Day was part of the 23-year-old’s intensive 10-week crash course under the IPP, a program designed to integrate international talents into American football.

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Since its launch in 2017, the initiative has seen some success, with participants like rugby league convert Jordan Mailata making an impact in the NFL.

Rees-Zammit – along with other rugby players such as Harry Mallinder, Darragh Leader, and George Smith – aim to follow in these footsteps, proving the potential of rugby talents in American football. Currently, 18 IPP athletes are on NFL rosters.

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