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From Connacht to Canada - Galway's Tadhg Leader has signed with the Hamilton Tiger Cats of the Canadian Football League.

"I am buzzing to have the opportunity to join such a proud team in a historic league. I've spent the last year closely watching the Tiger-Cats and I cannot wait to get over there and add value to what is already a class organization."

Tadhg Leader, Hamilton Tiger Cats

This move marks a significant milestone in Tadhg's career. A former rugby player with the San Diego Legion and New England Free Jacks in Major League Rugby, Leader made the transition to American football in 2021 when he joined the Aviators in The Spring League.

The Spring League was an amazing experience and one that put me far outside my comfort zone. I approached it with a sink or swim mentality - to do well and look to continue exploring football.

Tadhg Leader, Hamilton Tiger Cats

Leader then moved to Poland and was part of the Wrocław Panthers team which competed in the highly successful European League of Football inaugural season.

Thankfully the Spring League went well which lead to me signing to play in the European League of Football. I was more comfortable in this setting with the sport as I had five games under my belt. I managed to put together some strong footage as both a kicker and punter to show to the big leagues (NFL/CFL) that I'm more than capable of playing at their level. Thankfully, Hamilton recognised this and are giving me an opportunity. It's still hard to believe it's happening- but I also know it's only the start of another exciting chapter in my sporting career and I plan on writing a few more chapters!

Tadhg Leader, Hamilton Tiger Cats

The Hamilton Tiger Cats are one of the most successful clubs in Canada - with eight grey cups to their name. The team reached the Grey Cup final last season and Tadhg will hope to go one step further with the Tiger Cats in 2022. Jeff Reinebold was the special teams coordinator in Hamilton for many years and many American football fans in Ireland and the UK will be aware of Hamilton and the significance of this move.

For Leader, this is a huge moment for both his growth and the development of American football on the island of Ireland. While the International Player Pathway Program has been hugely successful in recent years for the NFL, no Irish players have had the opportunity to take part as of yet. Hopefully, Tadhg's success will lead to more Irish players coming through in future.

The CFL season gets underway on June 9, 2022, with 18 games being played per team over 21 weeks. Prior to this season, BT Sport has televised games in Ireland and the UK. We will keep followers of The Irish NFL Show up to date on how they can watch Tadhg in action.

You can follow Tadhg and his journey here.

Ádh mór, Tadhg!

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