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Christian Wade: Buffalo Bills cut former rugby player from final NFL squad

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Ex-Wasps player Christian Wade scores a 65-yard touchdown on his debut for the Buffalo Bills

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, 28, was one of 31 players cut by the Bills as they finalised their 53-player roster.

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

He impressed in pre-season, scoring a sensational 65-yard touchdown with his first carry on his debut.

NFL teams had until Saturday to cut their roster from the 90 players that began training camp in July down to 53 for the regular season, which starts on Thursday, 5 September.

Speaking in his BBC Sport column before the roster cuts, 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 and enter their practice squad for 2019 with the hope of making the Bills’ 53-man regular season roster for this season

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

If that doesn’t happen he can re-join 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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NFL player Christian Wade evades several tackles with a 48-yard run for the Buffalo Bills

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