Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Carlin Isles: "Fastest man in rugby" signs for Glasgow Warriors

March 6, 2014 -- Updated 1343 GMT (2143 HKT)
Carlin Isles was in outstanding form for the American team at January's HSBC Las Vegas Sevens and scored a superb try against Uruguay. Carlin Isles was in outstanding form for the American team at January's HSBC Las Vegas Sevens and scored a superb try against Uruguay.
Star attraction
Local hero
Catch me if you can
Lure of the Lions
Rugby mentor
Tough tackler
Try machine
Worldwide attraction
  • Carlin Isles signs a contract with Glasgow Warriors rugby union team
  • The American made his name playing in the HSBC Sevens World Series
  • Isles previously signed a practice contract with NFL franchise the Detroit Lions
  • The former track athlete made his sevens debut in 2012

Follow us at @WorldSportCNN and like us on Facebook

(CNN) -- The "fastest man in rugby" is to remain in the sport after resisting overtures from a major National Football League (NFL) team to sign for British team Glasgow Warriors.

Carlin Isles built his reputation playing for the U.S. in the HSBC Sevens World Series, where his searing pace helped him score 27 tries in 14 tournaments.

The former track athlete caught the attention of NFL franchise the Detroit Lions, who signed Isles to a practice contract in December.

But Isles has opted to commit his future to rugby, moving from sevens into the 15-a-side version of the sport with the Warriors -- who play in the Rabo Direct Pro 12 competition with teams from Scotland, Ireland, Wales and Italy.

"I can't wait to fly over to Glasgow and join up with my new teammates," the 24-year-old, who only started playing sevens for the U.S. in 2012, told the Sevens World Series website

Rugby's fastest man
Former track athlete Carlin Isles has been given the opportunity to prove himself in the NFL by the Detroit Lions. Former track athlete Carlin Isles has been given the opportunity to prove himself in the NFL by the Detroit Lions.
Rugby speedster gets NFL chance
Rugby speedster gets NFL chance Rugby speedster gets NFL chance

"Everything has happened so quickly for me over the last couple of years and I'm just happy to be playing rugby and getting the opportunity to play at the highest level."

Read: NFL or the Olympics? Carlin Isles turns to prayer

Isles hasn't ruled out representing the U.S. sevens team, known as "The Eagles", in future tournaments, but for now he is focused solely on playing for Glasgow.

The Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend, a veteran of 82 Test matches with Scotland's rugby union team, is excited by the potential of Isles -- who clocked a time of 4.22 seconds for the 40-yard dash while training with the Lions.

"This is a major coup for the club and a very exciting prospect," said Townsend.

"Carlin is an exceptionally gifted athlete, who has picked up the game of rugby in a very short period of time and has had a huge impact on the sevens circuit over the last couple of years."

Isles' conversations with Townsend proved key to the American's decision in making the switch from sevens into the 15-a-side form of the sport.

"It's very exciting to be moving to the 15-a-side game," he added. "It's a lot different to sevens but I want to work hard and do everything I can to succeed.

"I've been in contact with Gregor (Townsend) a few times and knowing he really wants me and sees something in me means a lot and was a big factor in deciding to join the club."

The Detroit Lions was not immediately available for comment.

Read: Jonah Lomu -- A rugby trailblazer

Read: South Africa great vows to fight disease

Part of complete coverage on
May 29, 2014 -- Updated 1643 GMT (0043 HKT)
Samisoni Viriviri is the first Fijian to be crowned Player of the Year by the International Ruby Board. CNN's Andrew Stewart report.
May 29, 2014 -- Updated 1452 GMT (2252 HKT)
England captain Tom Mitchell goes head to head with his Scottish counterpart Colin Gregor.
May 29, 2014 -- Updated 1624 GMT (0024 HKT)
CNN's Christina Macfarlane looks at how the 2014 Commonwealth Games could help generate more interest in the sport.
May 29, 2014 -- Updated 0845 GMT (1645 HKT)
Long-time rugby fans don't need graphs or charts to see that players are getting bigger -- but see how they compare to other athletes.
May 12, 2014 -- Updated 1726 GMT (0126 HKT)
Fiji's Samisoni Viriviri
New Zealand may have retained the Sevens World Series in fine style, but a Fijian claimed the honor of being named top player.
May 8, 2014 -- Updated 1215 GMT (2015 HKT)
aisale Serevi of Fiji in action during their semi final win over New Zealand during the Credit Suisse First Boston Hong Kong Sevens being played at the Hong Kong Stadium, Hong Kong.
As a young child in Fiji, rugby star Waisale Serevi strained to hear tales of his heroes through the crackles of an old transistor radio.
April 24, 2014 -- Updated 1328 GMT (2128 HKT)
Two years ago, Kayla McAlister was playing netball. Now she's the world's best rugby sevens player, emulating her All Black sibling Luke.
April 17, 2014 -- Updated 1300 GMT (2100 HKT)
By day, he dons a white lab coat and seeks to rid the world of disease. At weekends, he terrorizes opposition teams in his bright red outfit.
April 3, 2014 -- Updated 1046 GMT (1846 HKT)
Not only is she getting hitched this month, but Winter Olympics star Elana Meyers is hoping to wed her bobsleigh skills to an entirely different ball game.
March 30, 2014 -- Updated 1400 GMT (2200 HKT)
Welcome to Hong Kong, where the battle to create the greatest costume is almost as fierce as the action on the pitch in the HSBC Sevens World Series.
March 27, 2014 -- Updated 2050 GMT (0450 HKT)
The annual sporting jamboree is the highlight of the social calendar for rugby fans who flock to the Hong Kong Stadium in their thousands.
March 28, 2014 -- Updated 1035 GMT (1835 HKT)
Akira Ioane of New Zealand scores a try under pressure from England's Tom Mitchell during the IRB Sevens World Series cup semi final match in Wellington, New Zealand.
His name means "bright light" in Japanese and he's already shining on the global stage. Meet the young New Zealander being hailed as the next Jonah Lomu.
March 21, 2014 -- Updated 1626 GMT (0026 HKT)
It's the ultimate sporting world tour -- a combination of pace, power and partying through nine destinations. Discover the sevens circuit here...
March 21, 2014 -- Updated 1534 GMT (2334 HKT)
Spawned by university professors and dominated by big corporations, rugby in Japan is certainly different -- but it is also on the rise.
March 5, 2014 -- Updated 2311 GMT (0711 HKT)
Many have matched his size, some his speed, but no-one ever combined the two to such devastating effect on a rugby field as Jonah Lomu.