Online rumors put Carlin Isles in Ireland trying out for Leinster right now. He’s not. He is in Chula Vista training for the Wellington and Las Vegas stretches of the IRB 7s World Series.
Another rumor has USA Perpignan of the French Top 14 interested in Isles. That may be true, but there is no unspoken tryout deal worked out currently, as Isles has only recently settled on an agent.
“I’ve talked to some teams, got some options. Trying to figure out everything,” Isles told RUGBYMag.
“I just figured out my agent, because there were a lot of agents that wanted me. I finally sat down with Nigel (Melville) and my coach and finally picked out a good agency.”
Carlin has agreed to work with Nigel Geany of the Essentially Group. Geany is a Kiwi based in France.
“There’s been a lot of people pushing (Isles) around, there’s been a lot of rumors in France and the UK, but there’s nothing formalized,” said Geany.
“A prospect like Carlin incites people to work with him, so you take that on not as a gamble, but as a project, because he’s obviously an exceptional talent. We’re starting to get to know him, and we want to get to know him as a person, but when you see tape, you say, ’Wow, there’s not two or three guys running around the world that could do that.’”
While giving 15s a try is something that seems inevitable for the 23-year-old Isles, it won’t likely happen this spring, or if it does, it won’t likely interfere with the World Series. There are six more tournaments left on the circuit before the 7s World Cup in June. Isles wants to see this 7s season through.
“My main, main focus right now is just 7s and the USA and to help do what I can and help them achieve their goals,” Isles said.
“I think it’s something where he can develop his skill in the shortened game. He’ll get more confidence, more ball familiarization,” said Geany of Isles staying with 7s through the World Cup.
“I think that’s important for his development and to allow him to gain more confidence, because 15s, as you know, it is a different game. We’re positive that he can make it in 15s. What’s most important is we’re protective of what environment that he goes to, that he gets good coaching and time to develop.”
What league or country best suits Isles when he does give 15s a try? France has taken its chances with an unpolished American speedster before. Geany said he thinks Australia or New Zealand might better suit Isles’ game at the moment. And then there’s Japan, where the pay is good and the season’s short, so Isles could conceivably play 15s professionally before joining the 7s Eagles for the majority of the World Series.