Latest Chief News: Chiefs Kingdom adds new levels of dynamism with their new rugby recruit

Chiefs Kingdom’s latest rugby recruit brings fresh energy to the team.
A writer for the Chiefs and Australian rugby enthusiast offers insight on what to anticipate from Louis Rees-Zammit.

This week, the Kansas City Chiefs signed international rugby player Louis Rees-Zammit, in one of the most intriguing trades of the NFL offseason.

According to Ian Rapoport, the Chiefs will sign the Welsh international to a three-year contract as part of the NFL’s international route program. This is a move that has a lot of potential and almost no risk.

Rees-Zammit, 23, is anticipated to play wide receiver and running back, although he will probably be most effective on kick returns because of recent rule modifications in that area.

Consequently, who is Louis Rees-Zammit? What can Chiefs Kingdom anticipate from him, and what areas does he excel in?

I play a lot of rugby and am an Australian Chiefs supporter, so I know what it will take for him to succeed. Now let’s get started.
All the information you require about Louis Rees-Zammit

Rees-Zammit, a Welshman by birth, is transitioning from rugby to football at the peak of his abilities.

Even though he is only 23, he has already competed at the highest levels of rugby for his country. Not so long ago, he represented Wales in the rugby World Cup, and in 2021 he was instrumental in the Dragons’ victory in the Six Nations, the premier European rugby competition.

Rees-Zammit was a winger in rugby, a position typically defined by power, speed, and elusiveness—all attributes that Kansas City’s newest addition is abundantly endowed with.

He is swift as well, and at 6-3 and just under 200 pounds, he definitely has size about him. Rees-Zammit, who is considered to be among the quickest rugby players in the world, completed a 4.43 40-yard sprint during the NFL’s international testing day this offseason.


According to reports, Rees-Zammit once reached a peak speed of more than 24 mph during a rugby match—faster than any NFL player’s peak speed from the previous season. It appears that he will be utilized both as a wide receiver and as a rushing back.

Rees-Zammit would be eligible to join Kansas City’s practice squad as an additional player due to his status as an international development player.

What Chiefs Kingdom ought to anticipate

To be blunt, we shouldn’t have high expectations for Rees-Zammit, but that doesn’t mean he can’t make a significant contribution.

He is without a doubt a fantastic athlete, but the adjustment from rugby to the NFL is enormous, and it will take him some time.

Rugby and football are similar sports, yet they are also very different. Because rugby is far less technical and more free-flowing, pure athletic skill can be seen clearly. In contrast, football is much more intricate, with each position meticulously analyzed down to the smallest detail.

Football fundamentals, formations, route concepts, blocking, and reading coverages are just a few of the skills that players transitioning from rugby to the NFL must master. These are skills that aren’t always transferable from the rugby world to the NFL.

Additional Rugby to NFL Conversion Jarryd Hayne and Christian Wade brought a lot of enthusiasm and fanfare to the game of football. Both, however, failed to leave a lasting impression on Buffalo and San Francisco, respectively.

Nevertheless, the change is not unfeasible. Since running back is the position that most closely resembles what Rees-Zammit has played in rugby, I would anticipate that he will be used mostly in that capacity on offense. Though breaking the lines on a rugby field is significantly different from going through a B-gap at the line of scrimmage, he still possesses top speed and the ability to break tackles and force players to miss. This kind of run is very different.

He will probably be successful if the Chiefs can get the ball to him in space via quick pitches or halfback tosses. Furthermore, I don’t think Rees-Zammit is a natural match for this position, even though the Chiefs may try him out as a pass catcher. Rugby players don’t have to fight catches against defenders in the same manner as quarterbacks do, nor do they have to catch passes in the same way as wide receivers do.

Rees-Zammit is not going to light up the globe as a conventional wide receiver.

Where Rees-Zammit is most likely to excel
Even though Rees-Zammit’s initial role as a wide receiver or running back may have been limited, he should be able to shine on kickoff returns, especially with the new structure.

The kick-off regulations are ideal for Rees-Zammit because of his history and skill set. The modifications have essentially made NFL kickoffs nearly equivalent to rugby kickoffs, which is fantastic news for Kansas City’s new favorite Welshman.

Rees-Zammit, a returner, will be able to run and break through a single, dispersed line of defenders after catching the ball in free space. This is precisely what he was excellent at accomplishing when playing rugby. For the Chiefs to make the most of his skill set and physical ability, it is simply the ideal setting.
Although Rees-Zammit may initially struggle to play RB or WR in the conventional sense, the Chiefs still have a lot of different options for how to employ him as a potent playmaker. Anything that gets the ball into Rees-Zammit’s hands while he is in space or when things are moving comes to mind, such as jet sweeps, screens, quick out throws, and pitches to the running back on an RPO.

It may be difficult for him at first to beat a press corner off the line of scrimmage, but his best play is when he runs through tacklers and into space.

An additional covert weapon
The Chiefs may also want to use laterals as an additional creative method of getting the ball into LZR’s hands.

In essence, rugby is a game played nearly entirely by lateral players. Rees-Zammit participates in a sport where he sprints at top speed and catches a ball thrown backward to him. The Chiefs ought to attempt to take advantage of it.

The Chiefs had previously used lateral passes in a game, as evidenced by this play in which LeSean McCoy and Travis Kelce faced Detroit.

And there was another lateral effort, again from Kelce, that, despite the misdirected toss, looked even more like a traditional rugby play.

It’s a play with a lot of risk and profit. However, with Andy Reid, a mad scientist offensive genius who designs plays, that’s just the kind of unconventional idea that could be so insanely brilliant that it succeeds.

A lateral to an evasive running machine like Rees-Zammit at full speed could be a game-changing addition to an already extremely inventive offense; it wouldn’t have to be something that was utilized frequently.

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