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Wade sets ambitious NFL target

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Wade sets ambitious NFL target, but Atlanta Falcons' Sanu issues note of caution

Christian Wade could have a shot at making a successful transition from rugby union to the NFL, but only if he learns the game “rapid”, according to Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Mohamed Sanu.

Wade announced he was ending his rugby career in October to try to break into the NFL, and joined the league’s International Player Pathway Program in December.

Fellow Briton Efe Obada and former South Sydney Rabbitohs rugby league player Jordan Mailata have graduated from the program and now play for the Carolina Panthers and Philadelphia Eagles respectively.

Wade, who scored 82 Premiership tries for Wasps and earned one England cap, is following in the footsteps of Alex Gray in giving up rugby for the NFL. Gray played for Newcastle Falcons, London Irish and Yorkshire Carnegie before making the switch and signing for the Falcons.

And asked by Omnisport about Wade’s hopes, Sanu warned: “It’ll be tough because it’s a different sport with different rules.

“But at the same time if he puts his mind to it, and he really works on the fundamentals and learns the game rapid I think he could have a shot.

“We have Alex Gray who’s on our teams who transferred from rugby, he’s doing a great job for us.”

Meanwhile in an interview with the Guardian newspaper Wade told Martin Pengelly “In a year’s time I hope to be playing NFL.

“(I’m) still learning, still trying to get better, just pushing for the best. Whatever team I’m at, trying to make it, trying to soak up information and experience.

“I’m trying to make the roster. (Practice squad) is not really an aim for me. If I try to aim for that I’m not aiming high enough. I would still merely be adequate. My aim is to make the roster.”

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Wade sets ambitious NFL target, but Atlanta Falcons' Sanu issues note of caution