Friday, January 13, 2012

Zack Test - Future USA Eagles Winger

Zack Test scores a try in Las Vegas
Rugby Sevens has proven to be significantly useful for the United States of America. It has acted as a production line to help the national coaches better understand potential players in a number of positions. The amateur status of the sport in the country means that there is a huge gap from club to country and it is here, in the shortened form of the game, where players who may feature at Rugby World Cup´s can be tried and tested before being thrown onto the international stage. Examples of players who have been blooded playing Sevens for the USA to then go on to play professional rugby abroad and star for the Eagles (though not always in this order) are Todd Clever, Taku Ngwenya, Kevin Swiryn, Chris Wyles, Nic Johnson and Paul Emerick.

A player who may well follow in their footsteps is 22 year old Zack Test. The young Sevens flyer was a surprize exclusion from the USA Eagles´ World Cup squad. Coach Eddie O´Sullivan left test out of his 30 man squad in favor of  picking Colin Hawley, Blaine Scully and James Paterson to join the three established squad members of Ngwenya, Swiryn and Wyles. Despite missing out on national honors at New Zealand 2011, Test had been singled out by the Rugby World Cup 2011 Official Tournament Guide Magazine as the USA´s Kid with class. The guide spoke of his clever running lines and bursts of speed which enabled him to have a successful college career at the University of Oregon for whom he played American Football. He also played rugby for the same academic institution and helped it reach the regional playoffs. His college sporting career attracted the insterest of rugby authorities and saw him included in the USA Sevens team and subsequently the USA Eagles training squad. His future in both forms of the game is likely to see him play more for his country at both as he continues to develop and in time he should firmly hold a place in the USA Eagles starting XV.  Rugby World Cup 2015 looms as ideal as he will turn 25 during the tournament.

In preperation for rugby´s return to the Olympic Games, USA Rugby is to contract 23 players with Zack Test a strong candidate to be one of them. Despite being young, Test has been playing for the USA since the 2008-2008 season. He made his debut at senior level during the IRB Sevens World Series that season, representing his country at the Hong Kong, Adelaide and London Sevens events. His place in the team remainins permament as he has played at the Gold Coast, Dubai and Port Elizabeth legs of the 2011-2012 IRB World Sevens Series as well as the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico in which the USA won bronze. Test has also played for the United States Maccabiah rugby team and participated at the 2009 Maccabi Games. He was a key player in the sides bronze medal performance, beating Israel at the Herzliya Municipal Stadium.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations to Zack test who has signed with USA Rugby on a professional deal as a part of the group of players to be Sevens experts!