Things are looking up for former Oklahoma University All American Taylor Mokate.
The 15s loose forward has suited up for the USA at every level from age grade to All Americans to senior 7s, but not the 15s team ... yet.
Now he is enjoying life in Wellington, New Zealand, playing with Old Boys University, along with current Eagle prop Eric Fry.
"It is a great chance to use the skills we have been learning in a competitive setting," Mokate told RUGBYMag.com, adding that he enjoys the rugby and the toughest part of the entire situation is the long drive to his club ground.
Mokate has been playing a variety of positions, although he generally pans out as a No.8 or No. 6.
"I have been mostly at 8 and 6 but, as I told the coaching staff, my number one priority is the experience, so I have made myself available for 4 through 8," and, and he joked, even scrumhalf. "My pass from the base has improved greatly!"
That might be a joke, but if he wants to play more 7s, Mokate could surely benefit from learning such passing skills.
Mokate and Fry have bonded, and you'd expect.
"It is always great to have a good friend and teammate around no matter what," Mokate said.
Mokate was concentrating on training for rugby, but this is still the semi-pros level. He has just taken a job as a portfolio analyst to make ends meet. It means he has almost no free time at all now, but said that's OK.
He's in New Zealand to develop his rugby, and that takes priority.