ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
REGISTER
LOGIN
ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
Wednesday Jul 20, 2016

Three stars to watch out for as the USA 7s squad for Rio is announced

The USA Sevens squad for the 2016 Olympics has been announced, featuring a great mix of star power, experience and a whole lot of speed to burn. Here is a look at three players who we think will give the USA their very best chance of defending that Olympic Gold medal in rugby.

To an already successful side, who finished 6th on the HSBC World Series this year, have been added Saracen’s utility back Chris Wyles and back-rower Andrew Durutalo, who has played for the Sunwolves in Super Rugby this season.

The speed merchants that are Carlin Isles and Perry Baker have both made the squad alongside stalwarts of the side Danny Barrett, Garrett Bender, Zack Test and captain Madison Hughes.

Nate Ebner, of the New England Patriot’s, is the headline selection after transitioning to Sevens quickly enough to make the plane to Rio.

Although the USA have the world’s premier side Fiji in their group, alongside a talented Argentina side and hosts Brazil, they will be confident of getting out of the group stages.

The top two teams from each group go through alongside the two best third place teams from the three groups. The incredible physical ability of the USA’s athlete’s means that they can beat anyone on their day. They are perfectly suited to knockout rugby.

USA MEN’S SQUAD:
Perry Baker, Danny Barrett, Garrett Bender, Andrew Duratolo, Nate Ebner, Madison Hughes, Carlin Isles, Folau Niua, Ben Pinkelman, Zack Test, Maka Unufe, Chris Wyles.

Below is a look at three players who will be crucial in the USA’s attempt for gold.

Chris Wyles

The 32 year-old will bring great experience to the USA team. Wyles has made over 50 appearances for USA in the fifteen aside game as well as 200 appearances for Saracens.

He has been a key cog in the Saracens’ machine over the last few years with his ability to play fullback, wing and centre proving invaluable. He played on the Seven’s circuit for the USA from 2007 to 2009 and therefore, although he will be rusty, he is no novice to Sevens at the highest level.

Wyles is a potent finisher who scored 13 tries in the 2014/15 Premiership season making him joint second top try scorer in the league as well as scoring two tries at the 2015 World Cup.

The former USA captain played in the last qualifier for Rio but has otherwise been limited in his Seven’s appearances this season. Nevertheless, the quality he brings in both attack and defence make him crucial for the USA.

 

Nate Ebner

Ebner is a Super Bowl winning New England Patriot who is contracted to the NFL side. However Ebner’s background is in rugby and not American football. As a child he played rugby and only took up American football at college by which time he had already represented USA Sevens as well as junior USA fifteen aside teams.

His transition to American Football was so successful at Ohio State University that he was picked up by the New England Patriots in the 2012 draft. Ebner has therefore returned to rugby rather than having had to learn the game in a short period of time.

He performed well in Singapore and Paris which was enough to convince Coach Mike Friday to select the special teams player.

Although his performances on the pitch will be important, the story and focus that Ebner will bring to rugby in the US is vitally important.

The inclusion of Sevens in the Olympics has already intensified the spotlight on rugby but his selection is likely to intrigue football fans in to watching the spectacle. Ebner will play as a forward but with a 40 yard time of 4.48, he has the athleticism to be a danger with ball in hand.

Ebner is in the phenomenal position of having a genuine opportunity to add an Olympic medal to a Super Bowl ring, after winning the Super Bowl with the Patriots in 2014.

 

Carlin Isles

Isles has been dubbed ‘The fastest man in rugby’ after the scintillating pace that he has demonstrated on the Sevens scene. The former sprinter was sensational initially, creating a real buzz around Sevens. However his form then dipped and he became overshadowed by the USA’s other lightning quick player, Perry Baker.

Injuries have limited Isles’ 2016 season and an attempt to test out his chances of returning to sprinting has affected his game time.

However Isles’ aim from the start of joining rugby was to go to the Olympics and to go for gold. He has now been granted that opportunity. Isles will surely raise his game to the occasion that Rio 2016 will present.

He is a fan favourite and can do things on the pitch that no one else will be able to do. If Isles is performing well, in tandem with Baker, the USA have a great chance. Their ability to score from their own 22, and from positions of seemingly little attacking potential, are unrivalled.

This is largely due to the pace and agility of ‘The fastest man in rugby’.

 

ADVERTISEMENT

Related Articles

  • 26 WEEKS AGO

    FIVE star players to watch out for in the...

  • 99 WEEKS AGO

    Part three of the award winning USA 7s documentary...

  • 139 WEEKS AGO

    Table topping Fiji fly past Australia to...



ADVERTISEMENT

Great Tries

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Ulster score counter attack try of the season contender in Champions Cup

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    WATCH: Smith provides the goods once again with late Quins comeback in Europe

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    McKenzie impresses for Suntory on league debut in Japan

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Ridiculous dummy-offload sets up last gasp bonus point for Bears

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Length-of-field chase for charge down results in great try

View All

Big Hits & Dirty Play

  • 3 DAYS AGO

    WATCH: Curry learns not to mess with De Allende

  • 3 DAYS AGO

    WATCH: Worried-looking Marler survives stamp scare during epic Quins win

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    Dangerous challenge on Kockott shows how contentious in the air challenges are

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    WATCH: Fijian powerhouse runs straight over Murray and Conway

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    WATCH: The harsh Umaga red card which has divided the rugby world

View All

See It To Believe It

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    WATCH: Rugby 22 gameplay footage ahead of January release

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    Some of the most controversial red cards in rugby history

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    WATCH: Embarrassing blunder in Japanese Top League is nothing but hilarious

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    WATCH: Smith provides the goods once again with late Quins comeback in Europe

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    McKenzie impresses for Suntory on league debut in Japan

View All

Funnies

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    WATCH: Embarrassing blunder in Japanese Top League is nothing but hilarious

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    The naughty language of Dane Coles which most fans missed during last year's Ireland defeat

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: 15 moments of 'sh*thousery' which probably shouldn't be tolerated in the modern game

  • 5 WEEKS AGO

    O'Mahony tells Rory Kockott to 'pi$s off' in hilarious interaction in front of referee

  • 6 WEEKS AGO

    Bizarre scenes as Harry Potter performs disappearing act against Bordeaux

View All

Amateur

  • 64 WEEKS AGO

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

  • 101 WEEKS AGO

    RUGBYDUMP BLITZ: This Best of the Week round up is sure to entertain you

  • 102 WEEKS AGO

    RD BLITZ - Disaster, just when it looked so promising...

  • 102 WEEKS AGO

    That glorious moment that will live on forever, like it or not

  • 102 WEEKS AGO

    RD Blitz - PROP'S Lionel Messi wizardy creates incredible try

View All

Player Features

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: American cross-over athletes get recruited off the street to try rugby

  • 14 WEEKS AGO

    New Tongan Thor montage is five minutes of mesmerising hits and skills

  • 27 WEEKS AGO

    A deeper look at Jason Robinson's incredible path to the top

  • 48 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Bumping off tacklers and taking high balls, Rob Kearney had an impressive Super Rugby debut

  • 54 WEEKS AGO

    Brian Moore on money in modern rugby and how it should never be compared to 'outlier' football

View All