Englishman Alex Jenkins signs for NY Giants as a free agent

Englishman Alex Jenkins has signed for the New York Giants as a free agent, the franchise confirmed Sunday.

The defensive end, 26, emerged through the International Player Pathway programme but was cut by the New Orleans Saints before the start of the 2018 season.

He has been signed by the Giants in the wake of their rookie minicamp the past weekend, and will now fight to make the final 52-man roster before the start of the season in August.

Jenkins, from Bath, is one of a number of recent British graduates of the International Player Pathway programme, which offers players from outside the U.S. a route into the league.

A former schoolboy rugby and soccer player, he is emulating other British sports stars in making the leap and trying to break through.

Former England international Christian Wade joined the Buffalo Bills in April just seven months after ending his career in rugby.

The ex-England sevens rugby captain Alex Gray has a reserves future contract with the Atlanta Falcons and his former teammate Christian Scotland-Williamson joined the Pittsburgh Steelers through the programme in 2018.

Their compatriot Jay Ajayi, from London, won the Superbowl in 2018 with the Philadelphia Eagles and is now a free agent.

Three other players from the 2019 Pathway Program have also joined teams in the AFC East, including Australian former National Rugby League player Valentine Holmes who signed for the New York Jets.

Brazilian defensive tackle Durval Queiroz Neto -- a former judo champion in Brazil -- was also picked up by the Miami Dolphins.