Super Bowl champion Nate Ebner has been named in the USA rugby sevens team for the Rio Olympics.
The New England Patriots defensive back is the only NFL player making the trip to Brazil.
Ebner, who won last year’s Super Bowl crown, was given permission by the Patriots to chase his dream.
The 27-year-old is expected to miss two weeks of pre-season training for New England while away on Olympic duty.
“I’m going to miss a few things I don’t want to but at the end of the day it’s a really big opportunity for me,” Ebner said.
“I think (Patriots coach) Bill Belichick understands rugby is a passion of mine and that’s where my background lies”
Ebner first represented the USA Sevens team at just 17 before attending Ohio State to play gridiron.
He continued to play rugby until he started his NFL career.
“Even though he will be away from our team during an important period of our off-season, he will still be getting excellent physical training,” Belichick said.
“I expect him to be ready for the football season like he always is.”