Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Sevens star Carlin Isles to make first foray into 15 man code


In exciting news for fans of the USA and rugby in general, it appears that Carlin Isles will be making his first foray into the 15 man code as RugbyMag reports he is to sign for Rabo Pro12 side Glasgow for the rest of the season.

Isles has been subject to much media attention since his switch from athletics to rugby, with his personal best time of 10.24 for the 100 metres (10.13 wind assisted) making him the quickest rugby player of all time.

After a successful transition to Sevens where he is the star attraction in the USA team, there were rumours last year that French giants Toulon were interested in him and last month he signed a practice contract with NFL side the Detroit Lions, and his future in rugby seemed then in doubt. However for now at least, he appears to have opted to stick with rugby and pursue the Olympic goal in 2016.

Signing to play the Union game has come as a surprise, and it will be another sharp learning experience for Isles who has very little experience playing 15 man rugby who could been thrown in at the deep end somewhat by signing for Pro12 side Glasgow. It will mean he could likely face some cold, muddy Friday nights and with less pace to run in Union, the experience will be very different from Sevens.

There will be much interest in his performance from the rugby world, and he will face the pressure of many of the perhaps more conservative rugby fans seeing him as a gimmick and writing him off as a XV's play at the first mistake. It will be a tough challenge for him, but he succeeded at Sevens and there is a successful precedent in athlete turned rugby star in former Olympic hurdler Nigel Walker. If successful, the move also opens up the possibility that as well as the Olympics, Isles could go for the 2015 World Cup. Which while at the minute looks unlikely, it could lead to a Ngwenya/Isles wing partnership, which would be without doubt the fastest of all time.
Isles outpacing New Zealand during the Port
Elizabeth 7's in December 2013

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