Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Can USA persuade Hanno Dirksen to play for them?

Hanno Dirksen has been on fine
form the Ospreys and become a very
popular player amongst fans for his
committed style of play
During the Six Nations period with Tommy Bowe playing for Ireland and Shane Williams now having taken a step back on his play duties before he fully retires at the end of the season, the South African born American winger Hanno Dirksen has come in and been a revelation for the Ospreys, and with the recent retirement of Kevin Swiryn due to injury he would be firmly in line for his first cap with the Eagles this summer.

But that is if he can be persuaded to play for the USA, he has previously pledged his allegiance to Wales and was expected to qualify for Wales at the end of the season after three years in Wales, and may well have been in with a chance of getting into the squad over the next 12 months on current form.

But according to a report from Welsh newspaper the Western Mail last weekend, he may not be available for Welsh selection so soon. The paper reported that because for the first two years of his stay in Wales, he was staying on a student visa, it means that those first two years don't count towards the three year qualification period. So after this season, Dirksen would have to spend another two seasons with the Ospreys before qualifying to play for Wales.
Dirksen in USA colours
back in 2008

If the report is accurate, then it means that the USA could have another two years to try and persuade him to play for them rather than Wales. If the new USA coach Mike Tolkin could manage to persuade Dirksen to play for the States it would be huge news for American rugby as Dirksen has really proved a very good player this season with potential to get even better.

There have been rumours that the Eagles management and coaching staff have already identified trying to persuade Dirksen to play for them as a key goal. It is also rumoured that if successful, he may play fly half for the USA, a position he played when he was representing the USA at youth level, and also a position where the USA have lacked quality in since Mike Hercus left the side.

Dirksen would be one of the USA's best players, and be unless any drastic misfortune occurs, a guaranteed member of the 2015 World Cup squad he would also be young enough to make 2019 and 2023. Whilst if he opted for Wales, he may well also be a great player for them too, but there would also be a risk of him winning just a handful of caps and then being lost to international rugby for good.

(Video: Hanno Dirksen's phenomenal individual try against Edinburgh in the RaboPro12, one of the best of the season so far)


  1. He would be a fool to play for Wales

  2. Does he still even qualify for the USA? He only played for them because his family moved there, i understand they then moved to England and now him Wales.

    Anon above ^ ^, how would he be a fool. He would earn a lot more money if he became a Welsh international for one. Ospreys would have more of a reason to keep him or any other top flight club. He's also a very classy player and could potentially be better than Cuthbert. I could see him becoming a first choice player for Wales. There aren't a lot of quality wing options.

    1. yes he qualifies for the USA, as you can see in the picture above he has represented them at age group level

      he has also played for the senior USA team against Munster, however it was a friendly match so it didn't make him unavailable for other nations

  3. he also qualifies for England he should play for the biggest and best team really