Patriots safety Nate Ebner training with US rugby team

By Jesse Reed
Nov 23, 2015; Foxborough, MA, USA; Buffalo Bills kick returner Denarius Moore (17) hangs onto the ball after being hit by New England Patriots defensive back Nate Ebner (43) during the first half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Nate Ebner is a rugby player who just so happens to also be pretty good at football, too.

The New England Patriots safety is taking time this summer to practice with the men’s rugby team, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports.

The Patriots are more than happy to support Ebner’s passion for the sport of rugby.

Ebner didn’t play football until his third year at Ohio State. Before that he played rugby on the US national rugby sevens team (youngest ever at the age of 17) and played on the Under 19 and Under 20 teams, winning MVP of the US team both years.

After turning 20, he turned his attention towards American football as a defensive back for the Buckeyes.

He played well enough in college to be drafted in the sixth round by the Patriots, and he just signed a new contract to play again in New England for two more seasons. He was third on the team last year with 11 special teams tackles and is considered a valuable member of the team’s coverage unit.