ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
REGISTER
LOGIN
ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
Tuesday Jul 21, 2020

England's Carlin Isles-esque viral sensation reveals why he's off to the NFL

There are always cases of “what could have been” with players, who perhaps didn’t reach the heights they were tipped to achieve or indeed opt to go a different path. Tyrese Johnson-Fisher is one of those figures.

ADVERTISEMENT

Johnson-Fisher first appeared on the scene thanks to a school rugby performance which caught the eye of England Rugby, which turned into a viral social media video.

Big things were expected of the then 15-year-old who was part of the Leicester Tigers Academy and subsequently part of the Bristol Bears squad last season.

A viral video aside, Johnson-Fisher was more of a sprinter with a passion for athletics before grabbing the attentions of several NFL sides in America.

Rugby was just one sport among many, as the now 20-year-old explained in a fascinating interview with the BBC.

“Rugby was not a sport that I was exposed to as young as many of my team-mates, perhaps I did not love it as much as they did. I was always really an athlete who was playing rugby.”

“My pass – short, medium and long – the timing of a pass, my hand-off, my high balls, my kicking, my game understanding, I only really ever understood football and athletics, not rugby.”

It’s a frustrating case of missed opportunity for the RFU, who with Johnson-Fisher, may well have boosted their own player pool with someone as naturally talented as him, as well as utilise the popularity of the viral video to build greater grassroots appeal of the game at a junior level.

But as Johnson-Fisher adds to the BBC, the stardom was somewhat imposed on him:

“Someone had sent me a message saying, have you seen this?” Johnson-Fisher said.

“For the next 30 minutes my whole Facebook timeline was blowing up with people from all different walks of life, saying ‘congratulations’ and I was still confused.

“I remember opening inboxes and I would get a lot of really nice messages, but I would also have people telling me that I would never be good enough, that I was only this and only that and it really did affect my mental health.”

It is clear in what Johnson-Fisher says that he was either not suited to rugby or simply wasn’t as passionate for the game as many of his contemporaries were. The raw skill and pace of the centre was evident, and his background and subsequent rise through the ranks was similar to USA’s Carlin Isles and Perry Baker – both of whom found professional careers in 7s after starting as sprinters.

Johnson-Fisher was quick to admit his overall game wasn’t perhaps as strong as the others, or Premiership material. But what if the RFU had used the USA’s model and progressed him through its successful 7s programme instead?

It does make you wonder.

Related Articles

  • 38 WEEKS AGO

    New Tongan Thor montage is five minutes of...

  • 50 WEEKS AGO

    A deeper look at Jason Robinson's incredible...

  • 71 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Bumping off tacklers and taking high...



ADVERTISEMENT

Great Tries

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    Henry Arundell wonder try shows he is the real deal

  • 8 WEEKS AGO

    Watch: Blues score two STUNNING tries against Queensland Reds

  • 10 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Racing 92 know how play ‘GORGEOUS’ rugby

  • 10 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Teddy Thomas rinses defence with BLISTERING pace

  • 12 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Every Ulster try scored in Europe this season..and it’s glorious!

View All

Big Hits & Dirty Play

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Concussion protocol extended to longer period on the sidelines

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Fans shocked as Saracens half back escapes red

  • 7 WEEKS AGO

    Fans outraged after shocking Owen Farrell moment

  • 7 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Big Rugby Collision In South African Schools Match

  • 7 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Sickening Shot Leaves Motionless

View All

See It To Believe It

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    Brilliant scenes as rugby match takes place in car park after South Africa game

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    Prince Edward skins opposition with Royal Goose Step

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Watch: Four legged friend causes chaos on the rugby field

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    George Kruis pulls off UNBELIVABLE trick shot conversion

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    Disastrous moment butchers certain try in Top 14 clash

View All

Funnies

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Great Performance On The Pitch Followed By A Legendary One Off It

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Wallabies New Ad Outrages English Fans

  • 5 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Prop Leaves Everyone For Dead With Epic Dummy

  • 6 WEEKS AGO

    Watch: The Internet Remains Undefeated In Champions Cup Build-Up

  • 7 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: First It Was BoJo Now It's ScoMo

View All

Amateur

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: South African Schools Rugby Is On Fire

  • 10 WEEKS AGO

    Watch: Epic Speech Epitomises Rugby Values

  • 12 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Epic touchline conversion from Tighthead seals the deal

  • 20 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Veteran props compared to Tadhg Furlong in new viral video

  • 87 WEEKS AGO

    Viral video of Scottish club brawl goes down a storm with rugby community

View All

Player Features

  • 1 DAY AGO

    Springboks take the p*** with line-up vs Wales

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    England star out of Australia tour

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    England name strong team to face Australia

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Wales in danger of Willie Le Roux masterclass

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Luther Burrell hits out at racist jokes in rugby

View All