The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are one of four NFL teams to have signed players as part of the new International Players Pathway Program.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are one of four NFL teams to have signed players as part of the new International Players Pathway Program. Brian Blanco

Rugby sevens skipper signs with NFL's Falcons

NFL: Former England rugby sevens captain Alex Gray is among four players selected by NFL clubs as part of a new International Player Pathway program.

NFC South division teams the Atlanta Falcons, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints will each have a roster exemption to carry an extra practice squad member from outside the United States, although one that cannot be activated during the 2017 season.

Gray, who captained the England rugby union sevens squad and only missed the Rio Olympics because of injury, will join the Falcons' reserve squad while fellow Englishman Alex Jenkins will join the Saints' practice line-up.

"I have been working hard for this goal and to be told it was going to happen was an amazing moment," Gray said.

"This is the start of another journey. It is a fantastic thing that is happening, but I am not going to get to where I want to be without keeping myself grounded."

Gray, 26, captained England rugby union sides at under-16, under-18 and under-20 levels as well as the national sevens squad.

News Corp Australia

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