With the recent news of 100m sprinter Trae Williams (10.10) moving on to Rugby 7’s, here’s a fun example of what Rugby Australia are hoping for..
Carlin Isles (USA) a 10.15 100m sprinter made the code switch back in 2012, scoring 32 tries in his first full world series season (2013). Isles has since been the top scorer in the world series competition in 2017-18 & 2018-19.
As the highlight reel below indicates, Isles is an impossible problem for opponents, with speed and adequate space providing the former sprinter with a variety of options.
Isles admitted he struggled early on tactically, but since learning the game has excelled, currently holding lucrative endorsement deals with Nike & Red Bull to name a few.
Isles remains hopeful of two-sport participation at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, spending time with old training partners Justin Gatlin (9.74/19.57) & Jeff Demps (10.01) in Florida during his off-season (pictured recently on Isles’ Instagram account).
Sprint to 7’s swaps aren’t all positive, as Jamaican 10.02/19.79 sprinter Warren Weir discovered in 2018. The 2012 Olympic 200m bronze medalist made a brief code swap, playing for the Jamaican 7’s team in a 3rd place finish at the 2018 Central American & Carribean Games, prior to returning to sprinting full time.
With a number of Australia’s sprint talents possessing high school rugby experience, the next 12 months could prove particularly interesting.
Oh, and the video all rugby fans are set to analyse prior to Williams’ debut, look no further.
Here’s Williams in 2013, a 10.75/21.63 athlete at the time, tormenting fellow schoolboy rugby players with his change of direction. The following season, Williams improved substantially over 100m, racing to 10.51 in the heats of the Youth Olympic Games, ultimately claiming bronze in the final.