THE man tagged the world’s fastest ever rugby player, Carlin Isles, will compete in the Emirates Glasgow 7s at Scotstoun this weekend after recovering from injury.
The new sensation of the HSBC World Sevens Series timed 10.13 seconds over 100 metres as part of his ultimately unsuccessful drive to make America’s track squad for last year’s London Olympics. That would have been quick enough to make it into the GB squad and to reach the semi-finals at London.
He has played basketball and American Football, but, when squeezed out of the athletics team, he was persuaded to switch his Olympic dream to the oval-ball game ahead of its introduction to the Games in Rio in 2016.
The 23-year-old has scored some outrageous tries this year but suffered concussion against New Zealand in the quarter-finals of the Tokyo Sevens in March. USA Head Coach Alexander Magleby has now confirmed that Isles has been passed fit and will play, as will US captain Matt Hawkins, who has also recovered from injury.
Magleby said: “Matt was playing well in Hong Kong, and so we look forward to having his go-forward and experience back on the field in Scotland, as well as Carlin’s X-factor.”
Blaine Scully is also back from injury, but veteran Mike Palefau is out of what is a hugely important tournament for the USA and Scotland. The Eagles beat Stevie Gemmell’s Scots in Tokyo and so both are now tied 12th in the world rankings. Whoever finishes lower in the rankings after this weekend will be forced into a qualifying tournament to return to next year’s world series.
Scotland face New Zealand, England and Portugal, while Russia, Wales and France await Magleby’s Eagles in Pool D. The US also defeated Wales in Tokyo and with Isles back in the side have high hopes of winning their pool and reaching the cup quarter-finals.
USA Eagles: Andrew Durutalo, Nick Edwards, Jack Halalilo, Matt Hawkins (capt), Colin Hawley, Luke Hume, Carlin Isles, Folau Niua, Blaine Scully, Shalom Suniula, Zach Test, Brett Thompson. Reserve: Pila Taufa.