Saturday, January 19, 2013

2013 with an eye to 2015 - USA´s Carlin Isles

Photo: IRB
After years of being untouchable for the USA Eagles Biarrtiz winger Taku Ngwenya now has some serious challengers. While Ngwenya has had a mortgage on the USA´s number 14 shirt the USA has had no shortage of quality players on the wing. The emergence of Luke Hume in 2012 more than made up for the loss of James Paterson as the former Super Rugby player did not play for the test side at all in 2012. He could well return for international duty in 2013.  Other players of note include Miles Craigwell, Cornelius Dirksen, Colin Hawley, Zach Pangelinan, Blaine Scully and Zack Test. All in all, the USA is well served at wing and with fullback Chris Wyles having played plenty of time on the wing for Saracens the cupboard is very much full. But none of these players have what Carlin Isles does.

23 year old Isles is a future star in the making. While he is very new to rugby he has quickly adapted to Rugby Sevens and looms as a future player for the USA Eagles. He could be taking the field for his country at Rugby World Cup 2015. Should it happen it would be nothing short of miraculous. Isles has already been a sensation on youtube due to his success playing Rugby Sevens for the USA on the IRB World Sevens circuit. His lightening speed comes from another sport - athletics. Isles had a dream to sprint for the USA at the 2012 Olympic Games in London but in the end hs skipped trials to focus on Sevens. His decision to take up rugby is motivated by a desire to represent the USA at the 2016  Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. 

His dream could very well happen now that he is working together with USA Rugby. Isles told RugbyMag that he came to play Rugby Sevens for the USA after talking to Sevens star Miles Craigwell. “I was watching Youtube videos, and I saw Miles Craigwell, and then I emailed Miles and I asked him about rugby and he told me it’s a great sport.” Craigwell told Isles that “it’s a great sport.” He was familiar with rugby as a sport and Rugby Sevens as an Olympic Sport due to the significant work being done in the country at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California. His initiative also saw him exchange emails with USA Rugby CEO Nigel Melville, who contacted him and, impressed by his sprinting track numbers, forwarded his information to the national Rugby Sevens coach Alex Magleby and from there he was quickly turned into a USA Rugby Sevens players.

Isles is not a one tone player. He is more than just a speedster. He admits to enjoying tackling and has thus far been able to play as a complete rugby player. His attitude is also very promising and although his rise has been quick he is not looking to make any shortcuts. Instead, Isles is a player seemingly dedicated to the cause and has a lot to offer his country. He was one of sixteen USA mens rugby players signed on a 2013 Rugby Sevens Residency Contract. The list includes a number of players who have played test match rugby for the USA Eagles and the short rugby career of Isles suggests he will also play for the Eagles. He will be one to pay careful attention to in 2013 with an eye towards Rugby World Cup 2015. It would appear safe to suggest that he will do the treble - play for the USA at the 2013 Rugby Sevens World Cup in Moscow, play at the 2015 Rugby World Cup and play at the 2016 Olympic Games. 

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