FacebookTwitterRedditShare

Perry Baker raced onto the rugby field after a knee injury ended his dreams of staring in the NFL and 2-years after signing a contract with the US Eagles residency program Baker is impressing on the rugby field and on social media.

The 29-year-old capped off a solid showing in this year’s HSBC Sevens World Series with a 4-try haul in the Eagles’ 42-14 win over New Zealand at the London Sevens.

The performance earned Baker a place on the London Dream Team and helped the Eagles make it to the Cup semifinal where they lost to the eventual champions Scotland 7’s.

The outing turned some heads on social media as well.

Perry attended Division II Fairmont State in West Virginia and is a natural and gifted athlete.  It should come as no surprise as the speedsters brother Dallas is a former Florida Gator wide receiver who was on the 2009 Super Bowl winning Pittsburgh Steelers team and his uncle Wes Chandler was a 4x NFL Pro Bowl selection.

But he has had to learn the finer points of rugby to transition from rugby.

“Being a football player and being rugby player, some things go hand in hand,” he told The Guardian ahead of last year’s Las Vegas Sevens tournament. “As far as me being a receiver, playing in a football league, I had to read defences, I had to set up the opposite man, things like that. In rugby that all goes hand in hand. Basketball also helped me out on the defence side of the ball.

“But I think you can take a rugby player and have him play football, and it’s better than having a football player play rugby. So much is different. It would have been an easier transition that way.

“Tackling is so different. In football, how many people tackle? Instead of using their helmet, their shoulder. Rugby, you wrap up, you drive your legs, the placement of your head is totally different.”

Baker is not alone on the Eagles roster looking to make the transition.  Carlin Isles is a regular with the team and the New England Patriots’ special teams standout Nate Ebner spending his summer offseason working to earn a spot on the team.

The Eagles finished the 2015/16 HSBC campaign in 6th place and have the team confident heading to Rio this summer for the Olympics.

“World