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Charlie Smyth: Gaelic footballer gets NFL deal with New Orleans Saints

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Down GAA goalkeeper Charlie Smyth has signed for the NFL’s New Orleans Saints on a three-year contract.

The 22-year-old will have the chance to fulfil his American football dream with the 2010 Super Bowl champions.

Smyth joins the Saints as a kicker after impressing at trials and will aim to make the active roster.

The Mayobridge goalkeeper has made his eye-catching move through the NFL’s international player pathway (IPP) programme.

New Orleans confirmed the deal for Smyth on Friday, as he swaps Gaelic football for American football.

Tadhg Leader, who is a kicking coach for the IPP and was integral in bringing Smyth into the IPP programme, said he was “lost for words”.

“I first met Charlie 6 months ago,” Leader posted on X., external

“He and his family put their trust in me. Then we embarked on a journey into the unknown. Thanks to Charlie’s talent and work ethic, we found a way.”

Leader added: “He’s rightly buzzing but already talking about training next week. Ireland couldn’t have a better ambassador in Charlie.”

Paul Sheehy, president of the ProStar Sports Agency which acts for Smyth, posted on X, external that he was “having a toast in the office to Charlie Smyth on his signing with the Saints”.

The IPP is a 10-week crash course for international players designed to teach the required skills to succeed in the NFL.

Smyth impressed scouts at the NFL Combine and pro-day trials, earning an invitation to the Saints’ training facility.





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Deontay Wilder: Ex-WBC world champion confident of Anthony Joshua fight

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Former WBC world champion Deontay Wilder tells BBC Sport he is “90%” sure a fight with Anthony Joshua will happen in the future, as he prepares to face Zhilei Zhang on 1 June.

READ MORE: Wilder says Joshua fight will be revived with big win over Zhang



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Taulupe Faletau: Wales number eight set for Cardiff return

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Taulupe Faletau back in training with Cardiff
Taulupe Faletau has played 14 games for Cardiff after joining from Bath in 2022

Cardiff and Wales number eight Taulupe Faletau is set to return to action after a six-month injury lay-off.

Faletau, 33, suffered a broken arm in Wales’ World Cup victory against Georgia in Nantes in October 2023 before missing this year’s Six Nations with a calf injury.

The British and Irish Lions Test star has since returned to Cardiff training.

Faletau is available for the United Rugby Championship (URC) trip to face Ulster on Friday night.

Faletau, who has played 104 times for Wales, returns to action with the summer tour to Australia on the horizon.

Head coach Warren Gatland has lost senior figures in Alun Wyn Jones, Justin Tipuric, George North, Dan Biggar, Leigh Halfpenny and Rhys Webb to international retirement in the last 12 months.

In Faletau’s absence, Cardiff back-row duo Alex Mann and Mackenzie Martin have been capped by Wales, while Aaron Wainwright has filled the national number eight role.



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Ross Molony: Leinster locks signs for Bath Rugby on three-year contract from 2024-25

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Ross Molony
Ross Molony has won four league titles and the European Champions Cup with Leinster

Bath have announced the signing of Leinster lock Ross Molony on a three-year contract.

The 29-year-old will join up with the Somerset club ahead of the 2024-25 season.

Molony has made 177 appearances for Leinster and has won four league titles and the European Champions Cup with the Dublin club.

Leinster are currently five points clear at the top of the United Rugby Championship table.

They face Premiership leaders Northampton Saints on Saturday, May 4, for a place in a third Champions Cup final in a row.

“Ross is a true professional and his journey in rugby is a testament to this,” director of rugby Johann van Graan told the club’s website.external-link

“His work ethic and leadership are some of his key characteristics and I believe he will play a huge part in our journey in the next number of years.”

Bath are currently second in the Premiership, five points behind Northampton.



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