With American players at the height of their overseas seasons, it’s worth checking in on some other players who have been playing pro.
When last we checked Nic Johnson was weighing some options, and could well decide to remain in the USA. Same goes for John van der Giessen, and Lou Stanfill.
Like a lot of the USA forwards, these three needed a little physical and mental recovery time. We checked in with Stanfill, who played a season in Italy but is now back in the States.
“My physical health is good. Other than a couple nagging issues which I will address during this off season, I feel great,” said the former Cal All America.
The month in New Zealand was “pretty emotional … to say the least,” said Stanfill. “I feel recovered and rejuvenated on all accounts post-World Cup.
To unwind, I enjoyed my time off with my family and friends at home and played some sports that I have missed, like basketball.”
Stanfill is still looking ahead as a rugby player, and will work toward making his third World Cup squad in 2015. He is currently between clubs, but could still sign a pro contract in the New Year. If he doesn’t, he may well return to NYAC – just as Johnson could end up with Denver and van der Giessen with Utah.
All of those players will be looking ahead to trying out for a USA team with a new coach. We asked Stanfill if the USA Rugby leadership has asked for input from the players – readers may remember in 2006 the players submitted a letter to the USA Rugby Board complaining about being shut out of any decisions regarding a new coach then.
Nothing, it seems, has changed.
“The players are asked very little when it comes to manner of management and organization,” said Stanfill. “We have plenty of input to give, but the Board does not involve us in these manners.”