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Welsh Players have Featured in the NFL: Super Bowl LVII Preview

There are not many Welsh angles on this year’s Super Bowl – but maybe here’s one.

If the rise of Wrexham is the Welsh football story of the season so far, then surely you have to back the Philadelphia Eagles to overcome the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

After all, Wrexham’s co-owner is Rob McElhenney, creator of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”.

Rob McElhenney at a Wrexham AFC game

Not tenuous enough for you? Well, try this. Last month Wales rugby wing Louis Rees-Zammit was supposedly a target for the Atlanta Falcons, which is only 779 miles from Philadelphia as opposed to 799 miles from Kansas.

To be fair, there are more genuine links to the NFL from Wales, but none of them involve the Eagles or the Chiefs.

Born in Port Talbot, Jon Norris moved to the USA as a youngster, went to college in Massachusetts, and ended up playing American football for the New England Patriots.

Norris was actually with the Patriots as a defensive lineman during their run to the 1986 Super Bowl, but was on the injured list during the whole of the season.

He went on to join the Chicago Bears, where he played in three NFL games.

Terry Price, from Hendy, was one of the biggest Welsh rugby stars of the 1960s until he signed for Bradford Northern in 1967, but his NFL club links came later.

Price went to try out as a kicker for the Buffalo Bills and although they were impressed, he did not play in the NFL.

Another who chanced his arm – or rather his leg – as a kicker was Allan Watson.

Born in Lanarkshire in Scotland, but raised in Blackwood, Watson played four NFL games for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1971 season.

No Welshman to be seen in this Sunday’s Super Bowl, but there is a notable showdown between Patrick Mahomes of the Chiefs and Jalen Hurst of the Eagles who will become the first black quarterbacks to go head-to-head in a Super Bowl.

This game will also see a historic first in the NFL: a brother vs brother match-up with Travis Kelce playing tight end for the Chiefs and Jason Kelce playing centre for the Eagles.

Both teams were the number one sides from their conferences and both had a regular season record of 14-3, making Sunday a genuine shoot-out between the best.

The Chiefs’ head coach, Andy Reid, will face his former team, the Eagles, where he established his NFL career as coach from 1999 to 2012.

The Eagles are currently narrow two-point favorites, but the market could change. Both teams have strong offenses, making for a potential high-scoring game.

The only worry for the Chiefs is that Reid has admitted Mahomes is not fully fit.

“I wouldn’t tell you he’s 100 per cent,” said Reid.

“The training staff works with him endlessly. I guess it’s a tribute to both of them; Pat coming back for more and for those guys cranking on him.

“We’ve got all the latest stuff technology-wise. He’s used it all and he’s been able to make these jumps here where he can actually function and play in a game, which is pretty remarkable.”

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