Christian Wade believes his gamble to trade rugby union for the NFL was 100 per cent worth it after he was picked up by the Buffalo Bills.
Wade was assigned to the Bills as part of the International Player Pathway program on Monday.
The former Wasps wing retired from rugby in October after a career that saw him earn one England cap and score 82 Premiership tries for Wasps – the third-most in the competition’s history.
And the 27-year-old, who will meet some of his new Bills team-mates next Monday for offseason workouts, feels that decision has now been vindicated.
He told a conference call: “With the recent news I’m completely lost for words. Every week that has gone by has exceeded my expectations.
“I didn’t really know what to expect from the process and have tried to stay open to all possibilities. I’ve tried to take everyone moment as it comes and hit it hard.”
A life-changing moment!
— NFL UK (@NFLUK) April 8, 2019
Asked if landing with the Bills made his change in sports worth it, he added: “One hundred percent. For me this is another step closer to my dream and what I set out to achieve from the start.
“It’s making me emotional thinking about the risk I took and the magnitude of the move. This afternoon has made that even more apparent. Every time I think about [it], I start to well up.
“There has been a huge mental challenge. It’s like learning a new language – you must go into a classroom and learn something completely new in a short period of time.
“It’s been a real test and will continue to be so as I’ve only scratched the surface of what is required. It’s been a challenge that I have risen to and now I am looking to the next step.”
Wade will have the challenge of dealing with the elements in Buffalo, but he is relishing tackling the colder temperatures and getting to know the Bills’ passionate fanbase, many of whom take to jumping through tables during the pre-game tailgates.
He said: “I loved my time in London and Coventry but now I’m looking forward to the new challenge. I’ve never been to Buffalo but am sure I will enjoy it there. I’m braced for the weather!
“I know that they are an extremely passionate group and that there is bound to be a lot of table jumping. I love it and can’t wait to see how they do things out there, get stuck into the culture and learn as much about Buffalo as possible. I can’t wait to get over there now.”
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