Campbell's Availability Good News For Eagles

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Very good news for the USA this week is that some overseas pros who might have been unavailable for The Rugby Weekend can actually play.

One of those is Bryce Campbell. The power-running and hard-hitting center was thought to be potentially unable to be released because his club, London Irish, because the club has a league game against Jersey on November 3.

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However, London Irish Director of Rugby Declan Kidney has given Campbell his blessing (with the caveat that injuries could change things). That's important for the Eagles as injuries and other unavailabilities have the USA team stressed in the midfield.

For Campbell, though, things have been all upward at London Irish.

"It’s going well," Campbell told FloRugby. "They have made it easy to fit into the culture and make the transition. We’ve got a very experienced team and coaching staff so I am learning a lot. It’s a great environment to play in and I am just taking the minutes as they come."

Campbell started this past weekend in a 72-5 defeat of Yorkshire Carnegie. He helped set up a try in that game was, according to the club game report, was "an exquisite offload from USA international Bryce Campbell."

Nice.

Campbell has continued to play some inspired center, but one of his best moments almost came about when he was playing flanker. When a late injury forced some creative substitutions for the USA against Scotland in June, Campbell had to play flanker for the final couple of minutes. In his first play he was inches away from stealing the ball at the lineout, potentially ending the game earlier than it did.


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"Yeah that was a crazy moment," he recalled. "I have been slotted in at flanker for a few scrums when we have had yellow cards with the Eagles fairly recently. The last time I actually played in the forwards was my freshman year of high school at Royal Irish [in Indianapolis], and I was a flanker.

"I was just thinking: 'connect with AJ and if anyone comes running around the end of the lineout, hit them hard.' When the ball went down I was just like: 'Go get it!' They were able to scoop it just in time. If they had set a maul I would have had no idea what to do."



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