Wyles wants Saracens to continue winning mentality
American winger looking forawrd to Sevens challenge
SARACENS and USA full back Chris Wyles has called on his side to carry over their winning mentality from last year into every game they play, starting with the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Premiership 7s Series on Friday.
Wyles, whose family moved over from America and settled in Harpenden aged 11, came through the mini and junior ranks at Harpenden RFC before going on to play for Northampton and now Sarries.
Saracens swept all before them on the domestic front last year to claim their first-ever Premiership crown and as the start of a new season beckons, Wyles knows the importance of not resting on their laurels.
This time last year, the Vicarage Road outfit were making a strong start to the season, as they topped the podium at the inaugural J.P. Morgan 7s series.
And Wyles, a sevens expert and former captain with the Super Eagles, is confident that Saracens can match that feat this time around when they take on Northampton, Gloucester and Wasps at Franklin’s Gardens.
“I have not played sevens for a couple of years but the coaching staff suggested it to me and I jumped at the chance. It is extremely good for fitness and core skills which are exactly what I need at the moment,” said Wyles, who has run in more than 50 international tries in the shorter form of the game.
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“I know the coaches are hoping to send a strong team there. Winning is a habit and as a club we want to win every game and every tournament we participate in.
“Winning last year definitely played a role in creating the atmosphere around the club that we are trophy winners and culminated in us winning the Premiership.
“Sevens has been really important for my career. It played a big part in my early development and the experience of playing in big stadiums, often in front of 50,000 people, was just invaluable.”
Wyles himself is relishing the chance to get some competitive rugby under his belt before he flies out to join up with his USA team-mates in preparation for this autumn’s World Cup.
And the 27-year-old admits that it will certainly be a change to go from a Saracens side that will be targeting a win in every game they play next season to a USA team that have only won two games in their entire World Cup history.
“At the moment, the important thing is to get fit ahead of the World Cup which I am heading to in two weeks’ time,” he added.
“The World Cup is incredibly exciting. It is the pinnacle of your career and I was lucky enough to be involved in 2007 which was an amazing experience.
“In 2007 we played well at times but we did not win a game even though we came close against Samoa and Tonga.
“For USA rugby it is the key that we do win at least one game. There’s a lot of talk about being a sleeping giant but Americans, generally, like to follow teams that are successful or least seem to be improving.”
Tickets for every round of the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby 7s Series are available through Ticketmaster www.ticketmaster.co.uk or by calling 0844 847 2492