Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Callum Black - future USA prop?

26 year old Ulster loosehead prop, Callum Black is an American. He was born in the nation´s capital, Washingtonn DC in 1986 but has never played international rugby for the United States. Black is playing his first season of rugby for Irish province, Ulster having joined the team from the Worcester Warriors with whom he played for from 2006-2010. Worcester were at the time playing in England second division and Black was in the team having entered is academy after hs completed college. His time with the Warriors saw him play in fifty matches.

Upon joining Ulster, Black made it clear of his ambition to play international rugby for Ireland. Shouldhe play for Ireland it would not be die to his completing three years of living in Ulster but rather die to his paternal grandfather who is from Belfast. The IRFU have long known about his grandfather and have been grooming him as an Irish international. Despite having been born in the USA and being raised in England, Black played for Ireland at the Under 18, Under 19 and Under 21 levels. His chances of representing Ireland, however, do not appear to be so strong as Ireland´s options at loosehead prop are quite strong. For Ulster, Black has not been recieving too much game time as the likes of Tom Court and Paddy McAllister have beent he teams prefered options. Black last started for Ulster vs the Newport-Gwent Dragons in a RaboDirect Pro 12 match in January. 

The situation of Black is interesting when considering Hanno Dirksen who played age grade rugby for the USA but is now chasing a place in the Welsh national team. Both Dirksen and Black could well feature for the USA at Rugby World Cup 2015 and if they do wish to be a part of the tournament then they should both do so in USA colors as they are likely to get more game time. In both cases a decision should be made now with June 2012 therefore being the international debut for both players. Leaving it wait will mean the development of the players in combination with the USA Eagles will be all the more complicated. Black could well take the place of Mate Moeakiola who at 33 years of age is reaching the final stages of his time as a USA international. The other USA props from New Zealand 2011 should all be around for England 2015 but unlike Black, are not in a Premier Level Professional Competition. Shawn Pittman and Mike MacDonald play in England´s second division while Eric Fry plays for the Las Vegas Blackjacks. Could Black be an Eagle this June?


  1. He can kiss his Ulster contract goodbye if he does

    1. Quite possibly but the team is not using him much at all that they are likely to let him go sooner or latter. If he is not able to break into the match day 22 for Ulster he is not going to represent Ireland.

      A call from USA authorities could well shake things about.