January 19, 2016
Chris Wyles Retires From USA Rugby Eagles XV
Photo: Chris Wyles
USA Rugby announced yesterday that Chris Wyles has retired from international XVs duty with the Men’s Eagles and will focus on his contract with Saracens RFC in England. He also plans on joining the USA Eagles Sevens in Chula Vista, California at the Olympic Training Center, after the Saracens end their season.
Last year he did the same thing, helping the Eagles Sevens to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games at the NACRA Sevens. This year he wants to become an Olympian.
That is a realistic goal, as during the 2007-8 World Sevens Series, he was the leading try scorer for the United States with 26 tries and also was the learning points scorer with 130 points. His 8 tries at the South African Sevens was instrumental for the United States to gain core status in the World Sevens Series.
For the Eagles XV side, he has represented the United States in three Rugby World Cups, France in 2007, New Zealand in 2011 and most recently, England in 2015 as Captain. He retires from International XVs play with 54 caps and had been one of the most influential players in USA history.
Chris was born in Connecticut, grew up in Allentown, PA and then moved to England and went to school at Haileybury College and then the University of Nottingham.
He initially played professional rugby with Nottingham RFC before moving to the Northampton Saints in 2006-07. As a result of his performance, he played in the IRB World Series, as well as the 2007 Rugby World Cup.
Wyles then joined the Saracens during August, 2008 when Director of Rugby at Saracens, Eddie Jones signed him. Since then he has been one of their best and most consistent players. He is versatile players who has played fullback, wing and center.
During the 2009/10 season he was nominated for Player of the Season, yet remains level-headed and a consummate professional. He continues to be a mainstay player for the Saracens and at 32 years old, has more years of top rugby left.
Chris Wyles in speaking with USA Rugby indicated “I feel extremely indebted to USA Rugby for the opportunities and experiences it has given me.” “My time playing for the Eagles is filled with amazing memories but the thing that I will treasure the most are the great friends I’ve made throughout the years. I wish the team all the success in the future under new Head Coach, John Mitchell.”
When asked about Wyles’ decision to retire from International XVs, USA Rugby CEO Nigel Melville stated, “Chris is one of the most professional rugby players I have had the pleasure of working with. Chris is an outstanding player both in Sevens and XVs, but perhaps more importantly, a leader and role model for thousands of young American players. He will be a loss to the Eagles XV team, but we respect his decision and are delighted that he has decided to challenge for a place in the Eagles’ squad for Rio later this year.”
In striving to assist the USA Eagles Sevens gain an Olympic medal, he will need to return to the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista at the end of the Aviva Premiership season and compete for a spot on the team. He will not be available for selection to any legs of the 2015-16 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.
Many will be rooting for him and his inclusion on the team. He has proven that he can fulfill a role on the team. He also knows what is expected of him by Head Men’s Eagles Sevens Coach Mike Friday. He’s played with many current team players this past Summer and blends into the squad nicely. Time will tell, but I certainly hope that he gets to wear a USA National team jersey again.