Bliss Taking His Shot
Bliss Taking His Shot
One of the dark horse players seeking a spot in the USA National Team could well be former USA U20 captain and scrumhalf Tom Bliss.
Bliss was born in New York but grew up in the UK. He played in the 2013 Junior World Championships, and after finishing his studies at Lougborough, joined pro club Wasps, where he has started in some LV= Cup games. He continues to think big, hoping to break into Premiership games with Wasps, and also the USA senior national team.
"Linking up with the US National side is something I'm discussing frequently with Coach Tolkin and is something I'd love to do, especially with the draw of the World Cup around the corner," Bliss told Goff Rugby Report. "Playing there would be a dream come true."
Meanwhile, there's the matter of getting time on the field for Wasps.
"Since the start of pre-season I feel I've thrown myself into the mix at Wasps and am thoroughly enjoying my time here so far," he said. "I have started in all the A-League games, which I feel went well on a personal level, despite quite a few loses. The A-League games at the start of the season were a great chance to get up to speed with how Wasps play rugby, which stood me in good stead for our two LV= cup games against Sale and London Irish."
Being able to play with most of the 1st-grade players in the LV= games was a thrill for the 21-year-old. "It was great to get a run out for the #1s in the Premiership and European competitions. I would very much like to stay at the club so my immediate goal is to do all I can to put myself in a good position to re-sign at the club."
He is taking his development experience from college and the U20s with him.
"My experience gained at Loughborough was second to none," Bliss said. "It was an awesome environment to develop as a rugby player playing in both the BUCS university competition and the National Leagues. If there is one thing i would take from university rugby is the level of time and effort that needed to go into my game in order to develop to the best of my ability, whether it be extra passing or analysis of the weekend's game. Playing for the USA U20s in the JWC last summer was a fantastic experience too. Being captain made it even more special. The boys involved quickly gained an appreciation of the level of skill needed to play at this level."
The JWC didn't go the USA's way, but the lessons were worth it, explained Bliss. Now he hopes to turn that experience into a long pro career, and perhaps a shot at being an Eagle in 2015.