Aug 29, 2016
Chris Wyles from Rio to Twickenham
After a summer spent playing for the USA at the Olympic Games in Rio, coming hot on the heels of winning the double with Saracens, back Chris Wyles admits it has been a dream few months.
But as Saracens prepare to defend their Aviva Premiership Rugby crown, starting at the London Double Header against Worcester Warriors next weekend at Twickenham, Wyles admits all of the hard work must start again – and quickly.
After internal discussions as a playing group, the reset button has firmly been pressed by Saracens' boss Mark McCall.
And Wyles is determined to make his mark this season and get off to a flying start against Worcester as he looks to continue his fine form for club and country.
“It is a privilege to be in the position we are in, to defend our titles, but it’s all about backing that up this season,” said Wyles.
“The performances we had last season means there’s a responsibility to ensure it’s not a one-season wonder and we need to deliver again.
“The really great thing about being part of this squad is focussing on the experiences and the memories; that will continue to motivate us to stick together and to have another good season.
“There has been no difference in our mentality or approach this season, the good thing for us and we have discussed it as a group is we’re all back down to zero again.
“It doesn’t matter if you have won the double, its back to the drawing board and we know we need to perform again and that starts with Worcester at the London Double Header.”
Despite failing to land a medal with the USA in the 7s at the Olympic Games, Wyles is proud his achievements with the national team have helped to raise the profile of the sport in America.
Since appearing on our television screens at the Olympics, interest in American Rugby Union has significantly increased, leaving Wyles to think it was job done in Brazil.
“It has been a crazy summer for me to be honest – I finished the season with Saracens and then I was immediately into the 7s preparation,” he added.
“Being involved with the USA at the Olympic Games was an unforgettable experience, I was disappointed with the final conclusion but it was an amazing occasion and I was so pleased to be involved.
“Obviously it’s great to be back with the club now and I don’t think I have missed too much at this stage, so that’s pleasing.
“One of the lures of playing in the Olympic Games was to gain some real exposure for the sport back in the US – unfortunately we didn’t get a medal and so perhaps I felt the opportunity had been initially wasted.
“But after speaking to people back in the US, I think the country got to see some quality rugby, they got to see the Fijians do their stuff and so I still think our involvement will have made a huge impact.
“There has been some huge interest and hits on the American Rugby Union website and so I guess we have done our job.”
Start the Aviva Premiership Rugby Season in style with two games from £25 at Twickenham. Harlequins v Bristol Rugby and Saracens v Worcester Warriors in the London Double Header, 3 September. Tickets available from ticketmaster.co.uk