NFL Player has high hopes for USA 7s

Wed, 10 Aug 2016 10:33
Large nate ebner new england patriots2 800

NEWS: New England Patriots defensive back and United States of America Sevens player Nate Ebner hopes the Sevens side will set the pace for the sport's development in the USA.

Ebner, who has worked on special teams to help the Patriots capture Super Bowl XLIX last year, was given permission by the team in March to chase his Olympic dream - making him the only National Football League (NFL) player with a chance to capture gold in Brazil.

He is no rookie to rugby sevens.

Ebner became the youngest ever USA Sevens player at age 17 before going to Ohio State where he split time with rugby and American football until he started his NFL career.

"I hope it changes the game and that we can be trailblazers for something great in the United States," Ebner said.

"Obviously, those are our hopes and dreams for this sport. I love this sport and I want to see it have tremendous success but that's ultimately up to the people back in the United States and how they embrace the game and how many people get involved."

The USA started with defeat on Tuesday, going down to Argentina 17-14 in a Pool A thriller before rebounding to hosts Brazil 26-0.

Ebner scored a try in the second game, but was also yellow-carded for a late tackle that wouldn't have looked out of place in the NFL.

When asked whether he had flicked back into "football mode" for his late hit, which left an Argentinian prone for a couple of minutes.

"Not really, your natural instincts take over," he said.

"You practise and eventually you let your natural instincts take over.

"Sevens and football are very different games. Football is a violent game played right at one another. But at times out here, it can get very violent as well,"

Ebner admitted to being quite overwhelmed by his maiden Olympic participation.

"It's been a great experience, something I've never experienced before," he continued.

"To be a part of something this big and this prestigious, it's an honour to be part of it and an honour to be here with this group of guys, who work so hard and are some of the toughest guys I've ever met."

Ebner's presence in Rio even interrupted the Patriots pre-season training camp with the team stopping to watch him play.

"I heard something about that and I appreciate it," he said.

"I just try to embrace the moment, take it for what it is and cherish the moment."

Ebner will miss about two weeks of pre-season workouts for New England coach Bill Belichick while with the American squad.

However, he is confident he would return in great cardio form, albeit a little underweight.

Agence France-Presse

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 30 September 2016
Golden Lions v Sharks 15h00 Johannesburg
EP Kings v Pumas 16h00 Nelspruit
Western Province v Boland 17h10 Cape Town
Dragons v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Rodney Parade
Connacht v Edinburgh 18h35 Sportsground
Northampton Saints v Exeter Chiefs 18h45 Franklin's Gardens
Bristol v Saracens 18h45 Ashton Gate
Sat, 01 October 2016
Free State Cheetahs v Griquas 12h00 Bloemfontein
Sale Sharks v Leicester Tigers 13h30 AJ Bell Stadium
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
South Africa v Australia 15h05 Loftus Versfeld
Munster v Zebre 16h00 Thomond Park
Ulster v Ospreys 17h30 Kingspan Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Leinster 18h35 BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
Cardiff Blues v Cardiff Blues 19h05 Stadio Monigo
Sun, 02 October 2016
Argentina v New Zealand 22h10 Ascoli Piceno
Wasps v Harlequins 13h30 Ricoh Arena
Worcester Warriors v Newcastle Falcons 14h00 Sixways
Tue, 04 October 2016
Edinburgh v Ulster 19h35 BT Murrayfield
Pool 00
Team P W D L Pts
Brazil 7s 0 0 0 0 1
Korea Sevens 0 0 0 0 10
Pool 19
Team P W D L Pts
England Sevens 0 0 0 0 19
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Fiji Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Canada Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
New Zealand Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Australia Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
France Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Japan Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool C
Team P W D L Pts
Argentina Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
United States Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Russia Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool D
Team P W D L Pts
South Africa Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Kenya Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Portugal Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Team P W D L Pts
Wales Sevens
Zimbabwe 7s