No Olympic medal for Nate Ebner

Ross Houston
August 13, 2016

Ebner scored to help the United States of America men's rugby team to its first win of the 2016 Olympics on Tuesday - against host Brazil, no less.

Ebner grew up playing rugby but switched to play football in college.

"Once viewership in this country increases, there's going to be companies out there that are going to want to put their name on a jersey or put their name on a stadium wall", former US sevens rugby captain Gary Hein said before the USA Sevens Rugby tournament in Las Vegas in March. He requested a leave of absence from the Patriots, and Belichick obliged.

Belichick isn't the warm and fuzzy type, but he does appreciate other sports - especially lacrosse, but in this case rugby - and gave Ebner, a core special-teamer on the Patriots, the blessing to chase his Olympic dreams. "We're pulling for him to bring back something around his neck". He plans to rejoin the Patriots when rugby sevens competition concludes Thursday.


It was the first time rugby was part of the Olympic program in many years, which likely made it the first exposure to the sport for many watching in the United States. "Football's a violent game played right at one another".

He said he'd probably have to explain some of the finer points of rugby to his Patriots teammates who were following the Olympics closely, but thought the tournament was a good advertisement for rugby. "He's got pace, he's got physicality, and he's got a rugby brain". "With rugby, it's like, 'Hey, I'm free!"

However, the safety was also yellow carded for a late tackle that wouldn't have looked out of place in the NFL.

Carlin Isles, who is considered the fastest man in rugby, scored a try for the U.S.in the final minute of the match.


"They are dynamic duo who just kill it", Kelter said. "Rugby is for everyone".

Safety Nate Ebner was the big victor, helping USA Rugby to a 26-0 victory over Brazil as Patriots coaches and teammates met to cheer on their football teammate.

Team US described his performance as that of an "absolute savage". He saw some videos of rugby and thought it would be a ideal fit. "It's been awesome and I'm lucky that I've got to experience both".

"I definitely think so", Ebner said, via the Associated Press. Obviously, that's my hope for the sport. Games take less than a half hour to complete.


As a member of the United States rugby team, Ebner was granted leave from the National Football League to compete in the Summer Olympics.

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