The Runner Sports

USA Captain Blaine Scully Gains Valuable Experience Abroad

Far from the sunny shores of California, USA Rugby captain Blaine Scully continues his international rugby education. A proud son of Sacramento, Scully currently wears the azure colors of the Cardiff Blues and has been with them since the 2015-2016 season. This increasing experience revealed itself today as he clocked 80 action-packed minutes in a difficult loss to a talented Gloucester side.

Scully, who played his schoolboy rugby days as a Cal Bear, received his rugby baptism under the watchful eye of American rugby legend Jack Clark. Clark knew an athlete when he saw one and helped develop Scully into the 6’4″, 210 lb powerhouse he is today. Currently, Scully claims 33 caps as a US Eagle and has appeared in multiple World Cup matches before relocating to Europe to play professionally. He began this career as a wing with the Leicester Tigers, proving his mettle in 34 appearances before signing on with the Wales-based Blues.

In Saturday’s match, Scully showed he is not deterred playing amongst the English, Welsh, and New Zealand talent that saturated the lineups of both Cardiff and Gloucester. Although no tries were scored by the American winger, he proved reliable on both offense and defense. Part of the job description of a winger includes chasing down and competing for the ball after it has been kicked. Scully showed his finesse in achieving aerial dominance over his opposite number and on multiple occasions won possession for the Blues after recovering a wayward punt. Likewise, the American international showed true grit on defense, holding his ground against some punishing runs by Gloucester forwards. In the end, however, his contributions were not enough to prevent the 46-26 loss to Gloucester and the end of the Blues’ hopes at a European Challenge Cup final.

Despite this minor setback, Scully looks to be in top form as a busy summer schedule approaches for the United States. The biggest test of the upcoming summer series will undoubtedly be a visit from the Irish on June 10 in New Jersey. Fresh off a historic victory over the All Blacks in Chicago, the IRFU will be looking to continue its dominance on American soil with a victory against their hosts, and Scully’s talent will be a necessary ingredient if the Eagles hope to avoid humiliation. The Eagles will need all hands on deck this summer as they likewise face off against a developing Romanian squad along with their Canadian neighbors to the North. Scully’s international experience with the Blues will prove invaluable for this series and if he can remain fit and healthy, the Eagles will be much better-equipped.

Eric Sweigert

Eric Sweigert

Currently a teacher-athlete up in Northern California, I was first introduced to rugby in college (go Aggies) and haven't looked back. Nowadays you can find me teaching American History and writing about a sport that provided many good memories and more than enough stitches.
Eric Sweigert