USA star Wyles retires from Tests

Date published: January 19 2016

Chris Wyles has retired from international duty, USA Rugby announced on Monday. 

Wyles plans to focus on the remaining years of his contract with Saracens in England and to push for the 2016 Olympic Games.

With 54 test caps for the Eagles, Wyles has represented the USA in three Rugby World Cups – 2007 in France, 2011 in New Zealand, and 2015 in England. He captained the side in his final World Cup and led the team to back to back victories against Canada in the warm-up games.

A mainstay since his debut against England 'A' in 2007, the Saracens back played the majority of his caps at full-back, becoming the most capped full-back in USA history. In his 54 matches he scored 16 tries, including two braces against Romania and Russia and kicked 142 points from the boot.

"I feel extremely indebted to USA Rugby for the opportunities and experiences it has given me," said Wyles.

"My time playing for the Eagles is filled with amazing memories but the thing that I will treasure the most are the great friends I’ve made throughout the years. I wish the team all the success in the future under [new head coach] John Mitchell."

Wyles contributed to 18 USA victories, which included a 23-point performance against Canada at home in 2014 that ended a seven-match losing streak against the border rival. Prior to leading the team at the Rugby World Cup 2015, he was part of the Men’s Eagles Sevens squad that qualified for Rio 2016 at the 2015 NACRA Sevens Championships.

When asked about Wyles' decision to retire from Tests, USA Rugby CEO Nigel Melville stated: "Chris is one of the most professional rugby players I have had the pleasure of working with.

"Chris is an outstanding player both in Sevens and XVs, but perhaps more importantly, a leader and role model for thousands of young American players. He will be a loss to the Eagles XV team, but we respect his decision and are delighted that he has decided to challenge for a place in the Eagles’ squad for Rio later this year."

Though he will not be available for selection to any legs of the 2015/16 Sevens World Series, Wyles will shift gears at the end of the Premiership season to international Sevens in the months prior to Sevens’ first appearance at the Olympic Games.