May 13, 2015
In-form Wyles' stellar season
Saracens have had many success stories this season. Five trophies are already taking pride of place in the Allianz Park trophy cabinet.
Maro Itoje’s emergence from academy bolter to senior England representation and Jamie George’s form at hooker are others, but there is one individual whose performances in a Saracens jersey that have been one of the leading lights of a great season for the club - the form and contribution of Chris Wyles.
Wyles’ standing and importance to Saracens has never been questioned. Since his arrival to the club in 2008, the versatile USA international has always been a dependable and committed performer whenever he has donned the Red and Black of Saracens. Labelled rugby’s answer to a ‘Swiss Army Knife’ (for his many uses) by BT Sport commentator Nick Mullins in another try-scoring display in Saracens’ win against Harlequins at Wembley Stadium was meant very much as a compliment.
There is a certain stigma that has followed the rugby version of the utility man. The peddled out phrase of 'Jack of all, master of none' usually casts a shadow over such a player. Yet Wyles has always performed to his maximum in any position, and has endeared himself to the Sarries faithful and the wider rugby public for his displays with the star and crescent upon his chest.
In 2014/15 the USA international has been in red-hot form. Wyles has crossed for a total of 13 tries in all competitions, his best return in a Saracens shirt.
On a stellar season so far, Wyles said: “Has this been one of my best years at Saracens? It’s definitely up there. It’s been a tough season, a long season but I’ve managed to get over for a few tries due to the hard work of a few of the other guys. I’m enjoying how I’m playing, and ultimately I hope that the team can push on into the semi-finals and finals.
“There’s been some great team performances, and individually I’ve enjoyed it. The Munster game really stands out for me this season. Getting to play in front of our home crowd against one of the giants of European Rugby, having a good game as team and individually being involved in a couple of tries definitely stands out for me.
“It’s been good (his prolific try scoring form). Sometimes there is too much weight given to how many tries you score, but I’d be lying to say if I didn’t enjoying crossing for try - it’s great that I’ve been able to get over for a few this season.”
Wyles has been a key member of Saracens so far this season, as the north Londoners chase a second Premiership title. The 31-year old was a member of the victorious 2010/11 winning side, and he believes Saracens’ recent experience of winning and losing the Premiership final will add to team’s hunger going into the business end of the season.
“I think the nice thing about this squad is a lot of us have won the Premiership before," said Wyles. "We have that experience and added to that the disappointment of last season as well, coming up short in both the Premiership and European finals. We’re an experienced squad when it comes to be playing in finals and we can draw on those experiences. It’s not going to be easy. There are some brilliant teams in the Premiership, it’s unbelievably close - we have to keep pushing.”