Brian Doyle is back on the field after being injured in the USA’s loss against Tonga in November.
This is good news as the original fear regarding his injury was that he would be out for much longer.
“They thought it was a rotator cuff, but it turned out to be just a nerve thing,” said the NYAC and USA lock forward. “I couldn’t use my arm for a while but it slowly started to come back and now can use it just fine.”
Doyle started 2012 as one of the top domestic locks, but one who was struggling to make his mark as an Eagle. By the end of the year, he had established himself. Tough on defense, aggressive, smart and strong in the lineout, he capped his season with a try against Russia on November 9.
“I do feel a lot more comfortable,” Doyle said. “I was going up and down for a while, and now is the most comfortable I have felt. The USA team now is a really easy team to play for. Everyone has a great attitude and it’s just great to be a part of it.”
Doyle is echoing comments from many other players who say they like the chemistry on the team at present.
One of the key elements of the game for the USA has been the lineout, where Doyle expects to be a major player.
Forwards coach Dan Payne, said Doyle, has done an outstanding job with that part of play.
“We may not have lots of really tall guys, but we’ve got speed in the air, and our precision is good,” said Doyle, who will play against Payne’s Life University this weekend. “We have so many smart guys anyone can lead the lineout. We have some height, and really good speed across the ground, and Dan is always putting in new things and adding to what we can do; it’s working for us right now.”
Domestically Doyle suits up for NYAC and says that “on paper” the club looks very strong. However, he adds that the last time he said that of his club, they struggled.
“I do like the team we have,” he said. “We lost Louie Stanfill and that’s a big loss, but we have a lot of good guys filling in. Seth Cohen is a big, tough lock, he’s bigger than me. We get to move James Denise back to #6, where he is at his best. And you look at our back row is amazing. I can’t wait to play with them.”