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Sunday 25 February 2018

USA 7s star reveals secret weapon ahead of Limerick World Club Se7ens

USA Eagle Derek Lipscombe
USA Eagle Derek Lipscombe

Ben Baker

USA Eagle Derek Lipscombe has revealed his secret weapon as he bids to make an impact at the Limerick World Club Se7ens – a group of ten year olds.

Lipscombe has come a long way since discovering the sport of rugby while playing college football at Columbia University in 2007.

He has since gone on to become a member of the Plate-winning New York City 7s team that competed in the inaugural World Club Se7ens at Twickenham Stadium in 2013.

His achievements are made all the more impressive considering Lipscombe combines his career with a full-time job as a fourth-grade teacher at Collegiate School in New York.

But while some players would bemoan this juggling act and use it as an excuse, 26-year-old Lipscombe is adamant his teaching responsibilities make him a better player.

“I started playing rugby when I was at university in New York and I still play now even though I am a fourth grade teacher,” he said.

“I think teaching 25 ten year olds actually helps me because I have to be patient with these guys in school and I can transfer that to a game!

“And it is great because I can use rugby in my lessons. I didn’t know about rugby until I was 16 so for these guys to get in on the ground floor at ten years old is fantastic not only for them but also the sport.

“If these guys can start early they will hopefully develop a love for it and can go on and play it and pick it up and make the sport stronger in America.”

Lipscombe is set for another World Club Se7ens run out next month as Thomond Park plays host to the world class festival on August 9 & 10.

And Lipscombe insists he and his teammates from across the pond are not going to be there to simply make up the numbers.

“We have guys who have played in the World Club Sevens for a couple of years now and we are comfortable with playing at that level and are used to it,” he added.

“There are also some new guys in our squad who are relishing the chance to go up against some great clubs and players from around the world.

“American teams are doing better and better now when it comes to international rugby and we are starting to feel as though we are levelling the playing field and we want to prove that.

“I played in both the World Club Sevens at Twickenham over the past two years and I have played in other places around the world with America, and the World Series is an extremely special tournament to be involved in.

“Our best finish was fifth place in the first year and from there on we have been building so we are ready and looking to go to the next level now.

“For us we have to be looking at getting into that cup final. USA 7s won in London a couple of months ago and that is what we need to try and build on.”

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