Monday, July 7, 2014

Rabo Direct Pro 12: USA Winger Brett Thompson joins Edinburgh

USA international winger Brett Thompson is shortly expected to be confirmed as having signed a one year contract with Edinburgh. The twenty-three year old told This is American Rugby that "I'm excited for the opportunity and can't wait to see how I progress over the year." The move is to be Thompson's first experience playing professional rugby abroad. It comes following an impressive season for the USA Sevens Rugby team and also a debut for the senior mens side, the USA Eagles in the 2014 Pacific Nations Cup match against Canada in Sacramento. 

The quest to kick-on and advance as a rugby playing country with an eye to Tier 1 is a tough task for a country as large as the USA and for a country lacking professionalism. As has been shown by Tier 2 sides defeating Tier 1 nations the competitiveness of a national team can be significantly enhanced by having ones players exposed to top flight rugby. 

The Edinburgh bound Thompson will now have access to the same regime and facilities as many of Scotland's test players. The highly talent player that he is at this point of his career will therefore be developed into a better player ahead the World Cup. Should he make the U.S squad he would be in with a strong chance of facing Scotland in the pool match at Leeds. 

In moving to Edinburgh Thompson is to be the only USA Eagle playing rugby in the nation. He will be joined by two Argentine players at Edinburgh - Tomás Leonardí and Joaquín Domínguez. Scotland's other professional team, the Glasgow Warriors is home to Canadian DTH van der Merwe and Tommy Seymour who plays for Scotland despite being from the USA. Folau Niua and Carlin Isles have both left the Warriors. 

Thompson made a storming debut for the USA in the recent Pacific Nations Cup home fixture against Canada last month. He formed a back-three combination with Blaine Scully and Chris Wyles and together they proved to be a formidable unit. They scored all thirty-eight of the Eagles' points with Thompson scoring the final try to clinch the USA's first victory over Canada since 2009. 

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