Jay N. Miller
Patrick Chung was just one of the hardest-hitting, surest-tackling customers of the New England Patriots during a 12-yr NFL career, which integrated two stints in Foxboro and just one 12 months (2013) with the Philadelphia Eagles. So it in all probability will come as no shock that he’s become a diehard fan of Key League Rugby, and the New England Absolutely free Jacks.
Chung is, in truth, one particular of the team house owners, alongside with former teammate Nate Ebner, the Australian rugby star who transitioned into a crucial exclusive groups player in the NFL, and also discovered time to play rugby in the Olympics. We caught up with Chung, now 33, previously this 7 days as he was element of the preparing for the Absolutely free Jacks’ year finale Sunday evening at Quincy’s Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Soon after being primarily based in Weymouth at Union Position for their first two seasons, the Totally free Jacks introduced a handful of weeks back that they had signed a longterm agreement to play in Quincy in future seasons. The No cost Jacks (9-6) will debut in their new home for their closing regular-season activity this weekend, web hosting the impressive Rugby ATL club from Atlanta. Rugby ATL (11-4) previously have booked a spot in the Japanese Meeting Finals.
“I guess it was listening to my teammate Nate Ebner, who has spent his entire everyday living around the activity of rugby, that seriously initial got me interested,” Chung claimed. “Right after a long time of sitting future to him and viewing some of the factors he was viewing and finding out about the recreation, I got more and fascinated. Once he taught me the principles, I identified the entire activity pretty appealing, and started watching it whenever I could. So when Nate questioned me about this possibility to make investments and be a portion of the Totally free Jacks bringing pro rugby to New England, I mentioned, ‘Hell yeah, I am in!’
“I like it a whole lot,” Chung additional. “It is like continual chaos, relatively like football, but also relatives welcoming. I observed a couple of online games at Weymouth, and it is nuts. I experienced found a large amount of rugby on Television, but it is a good deal improved in individual, when you can listen to the guys shouting instructions and get a really feel for the make contact with. There is no question, it is way better in individual. Moreover, you will find a neat atmosphere in the stands, where the enthusiasts of each individual group may well get loud and rowdy but it normally with good sportsmanship and regard for just about every other.”
Chung was acknowledged all over the NFL for his tackling capacity, and that’s an part of rugby that is significantly unique from football. To start with of all, the gamers are not carrying pads and helmets, so the type of devastating knockout hits you see in football are neither common nor a good idea. The concentration has to be on good tackling method with the arms and shoulders, and much much more of the ‘wrap-’em-up’ brand of deal with. And the moment a player is down, he can pass the ball backward to his mates and the participate in gets underway once again quickly.
“Oh yeah, just looking at the action, at first, you don’t know they’re not carrying pads,” said Chung. “But if you truly start off watching closer, it is all performed with regard for your opponent. The emphasis is on suitable procedure, and you really don’t see folks remaining slammed to the floor. In that respect it is really safer than football, mainly because there is this regard for the players’ well being. You see much more of the wrapup, wrap-and-roll tackles. This is a sport wherever you see the two teams seemingly hoping to rip their heads off in the match, and then two hours later they are all owning a beer together.”
Did the Totally free Jacks probably enlist Chung to present some tackling suggestions for their gamers?
“Oh no, we have coaches who are really able and make absolutely sure our guys are all very good,” Chung mentioned with a chortle. “Nate and I did just one celebration in which we did discuss about wrapping up the opposing gamers and making productive tackles that way, but past that they don’t will need tips from us. We have a topnotch coach (Ryan Martin) and he gets them completely ready each week.”
Because Chung was also a defensive back again, a security who was observed for shifting all-around the development to stymie opposing offenses, we puzzled how he views the common rugby offense vs. defense, considering the fact that the sport has 15 gamers for each aspect, with that frequent passing, and the opportunity of a workforce kicking the ball at any place.
“It can be real, there are so many alternatives for the offense in this sport,” Chung noted. “Which is component of what I consider will make it extra exciting. The crew with the ball can go, or kick, or juke you, or try to run by means of you. But there is also a defensive factor to the game, which I like, and which also serves to hold it safer. It seriously is enjoyable to see two teams experience off like that, and that continuous chaos I described is a massive element of that. Supporters that see it in particular person love it.”
Chung, who was a political science main at Oregon, is absolutely dedicated to being a workforce owner now. And he seems to be owning plenty of pleasurable carrying out it.
“I assume to be there by about 5 p.m., meeting and greeting supporters and media,” claimed Chung. “We’re all actually pleased to have the Free of charge Jacks enjoying at Veterans Memorial Stadium, and hoping to introduce more enthusiasts to this activity.”
Sunday’s match starts at 7 p.m., and ticket data can be located at freejacks.com/tickets. Back again on May 15, Rugby ATL notched a 33-18 final decision about the viewing Free Jacks, so there will be a revenge aspect to the rematch.