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Isles And Baker Chase History

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Isles And Baker Chase History

Isles and Baker. Photos Mike Lee KLC fotos for World Rugby.

The two USA speedsters are tied for the all-time Eagle lead with 199 Sevens World Series tries. Bank on it, they’ll both get to 200.

But which one will get their first?

“No one’s going to give it to us,” said Baker after he was hauled down just a meter from paydirt in the Bronze Medal match against England in Sydney.
“I was right there on tryline and it just didn’t happen.”

That’s OK, added Isles. Now they get to do it at home.

“Do it for LA on home soil,” he said. “There’s no better way.”

Both have taken unorthodox journeys to World Series stardom. Baker was a green teenager playing a little football and coming out to play for the Daytona Beach Rugby Club for key 7s tournaments. Raw doesn’t begin to describe it, but he showed great promise as a 20-year-old in the 2006 Club 7s Championships. 

After hooking up with Tiger Rugby and honing his skills, he broke into the USA team in 2014. That’s right, it took eight years from first getting notices to making his debut.

Isles was a late bloomer, too. An All-American sprinter at Ashland University, he was thrust onto the national team in 2012 when it was entering a difficult phase. He had to learn as he went.

“But Carlin is the hardest worker in the game,” said current USA Head Coach Mike Friday. “He is always working at learning and making himself better.”

From a pure speedster to a player with moves and physicality, Isles continues to build on his game.

So you have Baker, the long-legged worker of angles, and Isles, the waterbug scamperer with blinding acceleration. They’re very different players, but they really do get along well, and it’s no coincidence that the USA team’s fortunes have greatly improved since Isles and Baker joined the Eagles. 

And something to think about—when they joined the Eagles, the USA record for World Series tries was 47; now it’s more than four times that number.

“It’s a lot of fun chasing the 200,” said Baker. “It pushes both of us bring our best game. We’re roommates and we always talk about it. I say ‘I need a try,’ and he’s ‘I need two, man.’ So it’s a lot of fun.”