Nwaneri: Jags excited about London

Updated: July 16, 2013, 4:48 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Jacksonville guard Uche Nwaneri said Tuesday in London that owner Shad Khan's purchase of English soccer club Fulham was a stroke of genius when it relates to the Jaguars.

"He's created a direct link between London and Jacksonville, which will create a fan base on both sides, not only for just us but also for Fulham in the United States," Nwaneri said. "It was an ingenious move and something that will obviously benefit both squads over the long haul."

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AP Photo/Lefteris PitarakisThe 49ers' Donte Whitner and Jags' Uche Nwaneri pose at Wembley Stadium to promote the team's game in London later this year.

Nwaneri was in London along with other NFL players, including the Minnesota Vikings' Jared Allen and Kevin Williams, the San Francisco 49ers' Donte Whitner and the Pittsburgh Steelers' Ramon Foster, to promote the league's two games at Wembley Stadium this season.

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger made a similar visit to London earlier this month to promote the league.

The NFL has played a regular-season game in London every year since 2007 but this will be the first season where two games will be played at Wembley Stadium in England. The Vikings face the Steelers on Sept. 29, while the 49ers play the Jaguars on Oct. 27.

For Jacksonville, this will be the first of four regular-season games in London over the next four seasons. Nwaneri said he believes his Jaguars teammates are looking forward to the experience.

"I think guys have embraced it pretty well, we're going to be the home team here for the next four years and I think guys are really looking at that as an opportunity to build a fanbase here," he said. "It's almost like having a second home and having a second home team so guys are really, really looking forward to it and it's going to bring a great energy just simply because you're in a different environment.

"The people, they don't necessarily watch our sport on a week to week basis like they do in the U.S. so you want to show them the best of what we can do. I really feel like it's going to be a great experience over the next four years."

Nwaneri's reference to the Jaguars as London's "home team" echoes comments made by Khan last Saturday when he called the Jaguars "the home team for London" when he was interviewed by Fulham TV after his purchase of the Barclay's Premier League club in a deal thought to be worth more than $200 million.

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