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USA Rugby Names Olympic Team

Photo credit to Charlie Bagent Photography via Flickr


USA Rugby Names 2016 U.S. Olympic Men’s Rugby Team

Lafayette, CO – The 12 rugby players that will be representing the U.S. Olympic Men’s Rugby Team in Rio de Janeiro have been selected by USA Rugby Head Coach Mike Friday, U.S. Rugby announced Monday.

The roster includes Super Bowl Champion with the New England Patriots safety Nate Ebner and several other international rugby stars.

“It’s a huge honor to represent your country at any time in your life, but to be given the responsibility at the Olympic Games – the biggest sporting event on the planet – makes it even more special,” said Friday. “The fact that we will be part of Team USA and that as a result we will be exposing the USA sporting public to another team sport they can engage with and enjoy watching, as well as passionately support their country, is immense.

“The boys fully appreciate the accountability that comes with that responsibility and are looking forward with confidence to those challenges. While we are not the pre-tournament favorites like Fiji who have to play with that expectation, we are a team who are hugely respected and feared by all other countries as genuine contenders. We know that on any given Sunday we have the power, pace and physicality to match and beat anyone. The boys recognize the magnitude of the task but are confident that we can be medal contenders if we play to our ability. We will represent the people of the USA in a way that they expect and deserve, exhibiting the characteristics that will make them proud.”

This is the first time the Olympics will feature Rugby Sevens. Rugby was last played in the Olympics by the men in 1924, when the USA won gold in the standard 15-a-side version of the game.

Team USA will continue their training at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista. They will later travel to Florida for a week-long training session, including scrimmages against New Zealand.

The team will then travel to Brazil on August 1. Team USA will then begin play against host national Brazil, Argentina and Fiji between August 9-12 at Deodoro Stadium.