The 28-year-old running back, who switched sports after a seven-year rugby union career that saw him play twice for England’s national team, took his first ever NFL carry for a rapid 65-yard touchdown in the Buffalo Bills’ preseason opener on Thursday night.
Wade is one of four athletes on the NFL’s International Player Pathway program, which plucks athletes from other countries and gives them an opportunity to make it in the NFL.
Known for his speed, he previously played as a winger for the rugby union team Wasps since 2011.
And Wade’s quick feet were on show with his only carry of the game, as he cut to the right and skipped past the Indianapolis Colts on his touchdown dash. The contest ended in a 24-16 Bills victory.
“I’m just kind of lost for words. It’s what dreams are made of,” Wade told reporters after the game. “Being able to get out there first of all to have the opportunity to play with the Bills, and then score the touchdown — couldn’t have dreamed it any better.”
His former rugby team showed its appreciation for his impressive debut, tweeting that the run was “pretty standard” for the athlete.
Wade still faces a battle to survive preseason cuts and join a crowded running back room that already features veterans LeSean McCoy, Frank Gore and T.J. Yeldon, and third-round draft pick Devin Singletary.
If he does, he’ll join a small but impressive clutch of English-born players in the NFL, including former Dolphins and Eagles running back Jay Ajayi and renowned New York Giants pass rusher Osi Umenyiora, who won two Super Bowls during his time with the team.