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Not to be bested by Ashton, Carlin Isles drops massive Cape Town blooper

By Ian Cameron
Carlin Isles

Chris Ashton’s shanked kick in the Champions Cup may have made the headlines in Europe, but down in Cape Town it was the world’s fastest rugby player taking home the honours in the blooper department.


Carlin Isles was doing his usual trick of making defenders look glacially slow. Yet having done the hard work of outsprinting the covering defence, before cutting back inside, Isles literally ‘drops the ball’.

Isles, who clocked 37kmph earlier in the tournament, saw the funny side. What else could he do.

Isles is returning from a injury-ravaged 12 months, which saw him miss out on much of last season’s World Series.

Isles played football and participated in track and field at Jackson High School in Ohio, where he holds school records in the long jump, 100-meter, 200-meter and 400-meter events.

He was an All-American in the 60 meter dash at Ashland University, running a personal best of 6.68 seconds and was also an All-GLIAC selection on the Ashland University football team and still holds school records for most kickoff return yardage in a game and longest kickoff return for a touchdown.

Though his 100 metre time of 10.13 seconds would have been good enough for the semi-finals at the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games, Isles did not attend the Games. He began his rugby career shortly thereafter with the Gentlemen of Aspen Rugby Football Club and earned a Residency contract with the Men’s Eagles Sevens.

He returned to the Olympic Training Centre in 2014 following a stint with the Glasgow Warriors of the Guinness Pro12.


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Shaylen 6 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

These guys will be utility players Nick it cannot be helped because coaches cannot help themselves. Rassie looks at players like these and sees the ability to cover multiple positions without losing much. It allows the 6-2 or 7-1. He wont change his coaching style or strategy for one player. At provincial level players like these are indispensable. If there is an injury to your starting 12 but your back up 12 is a bit iffy then a coach is going to go with the back up 10 who is gold and who can play a good 12. Damian Willemse for the Springboks is an obvious case, for the Stormers its the same. Dobson plays him at 12 or 15, with Gelant in the team he plays 12 but if Gelant goes down he doesnt go for his back up 15, he just puts Willemse there. With Frawley its the same at international and provincial level. He just slots in wherever. Frans Steyn made a career out of it. He was much maligned though as a youngster as he never fully developed into any role. He then went to Japan and France to decide for himself what kind of player he was, put on muscle and retained his big boot, ran over players and booted the ball long and came back into the Springboks after about 3 years away and was then certain about how he wanted to play the game no matter what position. Coaches cannot help themselves because they only want what is best for their teams and that means putting your most talented players on even if it means you cause them some discomfort. Sometimes players need to decide how they want to play the game and then adapt that to every position and let the coach decide how they want to use them.

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