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CWU Product Stanfill Takes His Opportunity

National Teams

CWU Product Stanfill Takes His Opportunity

Tim Stanfill's name has been bandied about for years. The aggressive, speedy former Central Washington University product was an Al American in 7s, but couldn't quite crack the upper echelon of the pathway in 15s.

The MVP of the 2011 USA Rugby College 7s National Championships, as CWU finished 2nd, the Vancouver, Wash. native was called up to camps and tryouts, but didn't quite make the next level. That happens to plenty of players, as they have a little more work to do. Stanfill went to play for Old Puget Sound Beach (now the Seattle Saracens), and helped them win a national 7s title, as well as helping Seattle win the Elite City 7s, and waited.

This past week, he got a callup to the USA Selects, where he was on the bench against Argentina, and then started against Canada A and Uruguay A. The result? Four tries, and two victories for the USA Selects. The Americans scored eight tries in the entire tournament, and Stanfill got four of them. It could have been as many as six with a little bit more luck.

Against Canada, Stanfill was just on the end of a nice team sequence by the USA players, breaking a tackle around the left side to go in for the first try of the game. Later, with the game in the balance at 8-3, he picked up a loose Canadian pass and raced in for the back-breaker.

"He responds very well to turnovers," said USA Head Coach Mike Tolkin. "He's done a lot of that kind of thing for Seattle. He played smart ball."

Then against Uruguay, it was Stanfill again. He almost scored early in the first half, but that try was called back for a forward pass. Then he capped off some good teamwork again to score. The try was characteristically Stanfill in that he burst onto the ball with no fear, and as such as past tacklers before they knew it.

Later on in the second half, he intercepted a pass as Uruguay were trying to get out of their 22. It was a bit of a risky move, because if he missed, the Uruguayans would have had space for a long run, but it also showed that he has faith in his speed to make up the difference.

Opportunism and confidence, then, got Stanfill to where he is now.

"I've got a lot of time for guys like Tim Stanfill, Aaron Lee, Kellen Gordon," said Tony Pacheco, Head Coach at Central Washington. "Those guys helped build our program and they keep working on their game. Tim can just shoot out of a cannon. Those tries he scored are just the sort of tries he scores."

Will Stanfill get a look at the Eagles? It's possible, although highly unlikely for the New Zealand game. But for the rest of November, with Luke Hume injured and Blaine Scully and Brett Thompson likely back with their pro clubs, he could take advantage of an opening at wing. If he does, it will be a testament to his patience, but also to his impatience; his desire to take advantage of a scoring chance when it's on offer, a skill any rugby team needs.