Rugby Sevens: Fast just got faster

(IRB.COM) Tuesday 16 October 2012
 Rugby Sevens: Fast just got faster
With a 100 metres personal best of 10.13 seconds, is Carlin Isles the fastest ever to play Rugby Sevens?

It has always taken genuine pace to be singled out as 'quick' on a Rugby Sevens field, and in recent times the very fastest on the HSBC Sevens World Series have been among rugby's most gazelle-like.

For the past couple of years, commentators have often wondered who might win in a flat race been the likes of England's Dan Norton, Kenya's Collins Injera, Scotland's James Fleming or Samoa's Tom Iosefo.

As of last week, the question of who is Rugby Sevens' fastest player need no longer be asked. It is Carlin Isles.

Who? Carlin Isles: America's latest cross-over athlete, who takes rugby 'flyers' to new, Olympic proportions.

With a personal best over 100 metres of 10.13 seconds, track athlete Isles is ranked 78th in the world over the distance. To put the speed into context, he would have qualified for the semi finals of the 100 metres at the London 2012 Olympics.

As of last weekend, however, he is scaring the life out of international Rugby Sevens teams, having made his debut on the Gold Coast.

The finer points of rugby, and in particular defence, are still being assimilated but going forward with ball in hand Isles is simply frightening.

Video: Watch Isles score one of the 7 tries of the Gold Coast Sevens

"I've been playing rugby for 12 weeks and I'm really enjoying it," said Isles after scoring twice in the States' Shield semi final win against Tonga.

"Being able to play on this stage on the World Series and travel the world is something really special and I want to thank my coach and my team mates. I want to make my speed work for me and for the team and I'm still learning as I go, it's very exciting."