Carlin Isles insists his San Francisco side have every chance of outclassing the world’s best and lifting the first ever World Club 7s trophy at Twickenham this weekend.
The American, who has been labelled ‘the fastest man in rugby’ after bursting onto the IRB Sevens World Series tour this season, only took up rugby after failing to qualify for the London 2012 Olympic Games in the 100m.
But Isles’ personal best of 10.13 would actually have seen him compete in the semi-finals at London, had he been picked, and the USA Rugby 7s side are reaping the rewards after he elected to switch sports.
San Francisco will meet South African outfit Vodacom Blue Bulls in their opening match on Saturday and will also face Aviva Premiership runners-up Northampton Saints and Argentine side Buenos Aires after being drawn in Pool B.
And although Isles is not familiar with the opposition, he is confident the American side have the talent to take on one of England’s top sides in Northampton and challenge for the title.
“I think we can win it. We have a very good team with good speed and also a good defense and we will just have to stick to our game plan,” he said.
“Our players always look forward to playing the best. Of course we are expecting Northampton to be strong but I expect us to be a strong side too. We are looking forward to the challenge.
“It’s going to be hard but it’s going to be good. We are happy to have this opportunity to be in the competition as it’s the first one and happy to showcase our team and put on a show and of course we want to win.”
Isles is one of three players in San Francisco’s squad who are currently contracted to the USA 7s side, including Mike Te’o and Jack Halalilo, and the team is captained by veteran international Mose Timoteo.
And the winger, who played at Twickenham for the USA at the London 7s, believes they have a mix of skills that will stand them in good stead when they meet clubs from all over the world at the home of rugby.
“We have a lot of players who are good steppers and good supporters. We have good athleticism and I think we have a mix of everything and that’s really important,” he added.
“I’ve played with most of them before and I’m looking forward to meeting up with them.
“Mike Te’o, Garrett Brewer and Jack Halalilo have all been impressing with the USA team.
“We’re really excited to come to London. I always like London and we’re excited to get there and get playing. The London 7s series was a great series and it had a great atmosphere.”
Submitted by Premiership Rugby