RWU HQ – With all the excitement around the soccer’s World Cup the past weeks, we here at Rugby Wrap Up decided to take a look at some of the former USA Rugby stars, and see what they are up to now. What are former American number eight Dan Lyle and former American hooker Tom Billups up to these days? Let’s find out!
Dan Lyle: He first joined the Team USA as a number eight in November of 1994, debuting against Ireland. Lyle then became a captain on the squad almost two years later in a match against Japan in June of 1996. The captain also played for the United States’ Sevens team during his international career as well.
Overall he made 45 caps during his international career, including appearances in the 1999 and 2003 Rugby World Cups.
Professionally Lyle played for Bath and the Leicester Tigers, where he made a total of 127 caps between the two teams. In his seven seasons with Bath, he helped lead his team to the Heineken Cup title in 1998 after a win against Brive. Lyle also captained the team during the 2001-2002 season. He was such in impacting player in such a brief time, the British press dubbed him “Captain America,” a nickname current Eagles captain Todd Clever now has… Lyle was an innovator in getting to restarts, taking them from the opposition. His size, speed and athleticism made him a very exciting player.
Believe it or not, but the former rugby play was also invited to train with the Minnesota Vikings and had a tryout with the Washington Redskins.
Where is he now? After retiring in 2003 Lyle began working for USA Sevens/United World Sports. With United World Sports, he is the Tournament Director of the annual USA Sevens rugby tournament played at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas.
Tom Billups: Billups first appeared on the Eagles in 1993 as a hooker. In his six years on the team he had 44 caps and 10 points. Not only did Billups play internationally for the United States, but he also played professionally for Blackheath F.C., Harlequins F.C., Neath RFC, and Pontypridd RFC between 1996 and 2000.
After retiring from rugby in 2000, Billups became an assistant coach for the USA Eagles during the 2000 season. By the 2002, Billups became the head coach of the team. He is the only coach to own a winning record against “Tier 2” and “Tier 3” countries with the Eagles. His record was 12-8.
Not only did Billups coach the 15s, but he also coached the Sevens. Billups directed the United States Sevens from 2001-2006, and was the head coach in 2005 during the World Games in Germany. Billups also spent time coaching the Collegiate All-American Team and United States Marine Corps as well.
Where is he now? Even though he was coaching and was involved in USA Rugby, Billups got involved at the University of California at Berkeley as well. In 2000 Billups joined the Cal Rugby coaching staff. He also became the team’s strength and conditioning coach in 2003, which is a position he holds to this day.
Come back next week as we look at two more former USA Eagles and find out were they are now!
That’s it for now. Feel free to comment below, look for and “Like” our Facebook Rugby Wrap Up Page and follow us on Twitter@: RugbyWrapUp,Junoir Blaber, DJ Eberle, Nick Hall,James Harrington, Cody Kuxmann, Jaime Loyd, Karen Ritter , Jamie Wall, Jake Frechette and Declan Yeats, respectively.