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All-Time American List: Chris Wyles

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All-Time American List: Chris Wyles

Chris Wyles passes off against Canada in 2014. David Barpal photo.

Chris Wyles did everything the USA men's national team asked of him.

A professional in England with top-notch credentials, the Connecticut-born Wyles didn't balk at having to try out for the team, and never balked at being there for the Eagles. He was central to the resurgence of the USA 7s team in the late 2000s, and ended up scoring an impressive 44 tries in only 56 games for the Olympic version of the USA team.

At 15s Wyles was also a class act, playing mostly fullback he also could play wing and center with plenty of ability—so much so that he was called the "Swiss Army Knife" of his professional club, Saracens. When the USA was in a flyhalf crunch, he was talked about in terms of filling in there. He certainly took on the goalkicking when need be. Wyles played for the USA team for nine seasons and three 15s World Cups (scoring at least one try in each of them) as well as the 2016 Olympics. 

He scored 16 tries and 222 points, putting him 4th all-time among USA players in both categories. His 54 caps puts him at 7th all-time among all Eagles, with only one back, Mike Petri, ahead og him. One of his biggest games was in 2014 when he scored a try, converted three, and hit four penalty goals as the USA came back from a 35-18 deficit against Canada to win 38-35. That win sparked a streak that is still going, with the Eagles not having lost to Canada since 2013.

A teammate who knew how to have a bit of fun, Wyles also didn't take anything for granted. He was clear in his gratitude for the USA program which reinvigorated his professional career—leading him to play over 250 times for Saracens and scoring over 60 tries. During his tenure with Saracens the club won four Premiership titles, with Wyles scoring the game-winner in one final and touching down in another. They also won two Heineken Cups. 

In a time when the idea of players who learned their rugby overseas coming to play for the USA has met with resistance and the idea that those players don't really and truly care about the Eagles, Wyles was the answer. He cared; he cared a lot. He was always available to play, always gave everything he had, and was supremely talented.