NFL Rumors: Australian Ex-Rugby Player Earns Tryout With Patriots

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We found out Thursday this weekend’s New England Patriots rookie minicamp will include a kicker who specializes in trick shots. It also will feature a former Australian rugby star.

Brock Davies, a 26-year-old Brisbane native who did not begin playing football until he arrived in the United States for college, has been granted a tryout with the defending Super Bowl champions, ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss reported Friday.

Davies, who was born in New Zealand, represented Australia in international rugby competition as a teenager, then embarked on a three-year professional career in France and England at age 19.

Davies’ football career began when he arrived at Colorado State University-Pueblo in 2014. He redshirted as a freshman, then played two seasons on the defensive line for the Division II Seawolves.

At 6-foot-1, 250 pounds, Davies is far too small to play D-line at the NFL level, with Reiss noting he’d probably need to switch to fullback or linebacker. And, as you’d expect from someone who played his first football game in 2015, he’s still very, very raw.

But he’s also an excellent athlete, and the highlights from his brief college football career are undeniably impressive.

“Brock is a tremendous athlete who has a great upside to him,” CSU-Pueblo head coach John Wristen told Reiss. “There’s no question there he is one heck of an athlete, and he works his ass off.”

Davies’ best chance of cracking an NFL roster likely is as a special teamer — the same role another ex-rugby player, Nate Ebner, currently plays for the Patriots. Ebner, who gave up rugby during his junior year at Ohio State to pursue a football career, temporarily switched back to his original sport last summer to represent the United States in the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Thumbnail screenshot via YouTube/Brock Davies

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