Wyles faces fitness battle for USA opener

(Rugby News Service) Wednesday 7 September 2011
Wyles faces fitness battle for USA opener
Full back Chris Wyles is battling to be fit for USA's opener against Ireland

WHANGANUI, 7 Sept. - USA full back Chris Wyles is battling to overcome an ankle injury ahead of the Eagles' Rugby World Cup 2011 opener against Ireland on Sunday, 11 September.

Wyles, who was a standout for his English side Saracens as they romped to the 2011 Premiership, has been struggling for several weeks with the injury.

Eagles physiotherapist Michael Keating said Wyles was on track in his recovery programme to participate in the tournament. 

“Now he is progressing through to performance training. So at this point, outside of contact, he has been training fully with the team,” Keating said.

“Things like working on his cutting, pivoting, change of direction, full-tempo sprinting and kicking - all those things are back at this point.”

Wyles was part of the USA team at RWC 2007 in France and has 23 international caps.

But Keating could not confirm that Wyles would be part of the Eagles' 22 for their opening match.

“I’d say for the Ireland match he is probably at 75 per cent. I think at this point it’ll definitely be a match-day decision. But the goal for him is to be prepared for the Ireland match.”

If USA coach Eddie O’Sullivan does not select Wyles, 23-year-old full back Blaine Scully is likely to take his place.

RNS ts/tf/rg/mr