Sevens test for ‘fastest player’
Carlin Isles, pictured below, the American judged to be the fastest rugby player in the world, is expected to be one of the stars in today’s 124th playing of the famous Melrose Sevens at the Greenyards, writes Alan Lorimer.
Isles, who signed a short-term contract earlier this season, is named in a Glasgow Warriors team that will provide the Scottish dimension to what is now a tournament with a distinctive international flavour.
For the record, Isles, has a best of 10.13 (wind-assisted) over 100 metres, the kind of speed that has brought him to the attention of the NFL and which earned him a call-up to the USA team for the IRB Gold Coast Sevens in Australia 18 months ago.
Isles is part of very strong all-international Glasgow Warriors squad for today’s blue riband sevens tournament and includes Scotland sevens caps Lee Jones, Scott Wight, James Eddie and Mark Bennett who played at Hong Kong last month and Fijian international Niko Matawalu, who could well be another show stealer.
For the Scotland players in the Warriors squad this will be a further chance to gain playing time ahead of the IRB Glasgow Sevens at Scotstoun on May 3-4 and the London Sevens at Twickenham a week later. Warriors are in the top half of the draw and could face Ayr in the quarter-finals with a possible final clash against last season’s runners-up, Clermont Auvergne.
The French club, who lost to Saracens in a tight final last year, will lead the overseas challenge but there will be a focus of interest, too, on the USA Tigers, given the success of the USA national team on the IRB sevens circuit and the overall interest in the short game in America.
The Melrose tournament, of course, is one of the 10 rounds that count towards the Kings of the Sevens crown. The race is currently led by the host club after their decisive win over Watsonians at Gala last Saturday. Draw. Rd 1 Stirling County v Jed-Forest, Currie v Stewart’s-Melville, Dundee HSFP v Boroughmuir, Heriot’s v Langholm, Hawick v Howe of Fife, Aberdeen v Selkirk, Kelso v Edinburgh Accies, Glasgow Hawks v Peebles. Rd 2 Stirling County or Jed-Forest v Ayr, Currie or Stewart’s-Melville v Glasgow Warriors, Dundee HSFP or Boroughmuir v SMT Trinbago, Heriot’s or Langholm v USA Tigers, Hawick or Howe of Fife v Gala, Aberdeen or Selkirk v Melrose, Kelso or Edinburgh Accies v Watsonians, Glasgow Hawks or Peebles v Clermont Auvergne