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Gregor Townsend quick to praise flying winger Isles

Carlin Isles, Glasgow Warriors' American "fastest man in world rugby" played his first 80 minutes of rugby when he was loaned to Ayr for their 21-15 Premiership victory over Hawick at Mansfield Park.

Carlin Isles failed to touchdown
Carlin Isles failed to touchdown

The 5ft 8, 11st former sprinter from Ohio, who had only previously played 20 minutes of 15-a-side, for Sand Diego Aztecs, lined-up against the 6ft 5in, 16-stone plus Nikki Walker - a man who has played more international matches than Isles has minutes of 15-a-side rugby. It was Walker who drew first blood as he blasted his way through to put Hawick in front in 10 minutes.

But after Isles changed his boots - which he referred to as "spikes", the American once gave Walker five metres of a start then caught and brought him down, just one of several incursions into the physical stuff which showed, the American has more to his game than sheer pace.

It took Ayr 43 minutes to give him his first pass, but, the Hawick cover quickly snared him. Ten minutes later, we learned what all the fuss was about as he took the ball, scorched round and through four attempted tackles, before spoiling the moment by failing to touchdown.

"I reckon I got the ball down, the ref didn't, so I'm disappointed," said Isles. "Man, it was long, far longer than sevens, but the guys made me welcome. I am enjoying Glasgow, in spite of all the rain, and keen to do well here."

He certainly impressed the watching Townsend, who likened Isles' approach to that of Thom Evans. "Like Thom, he is very quick, but also very brave, and he certainly didn't shy away from the physical stuff and wants to get involved," said the Glasgow coach.

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