LUKE CARTY starts for USA v England
LUKE CARTY has been named in the USA team that faces England in an Independence Day test at Twickenham. He is one of three uncapped players in the Eagles side that includes another Irishman Paul Mullen in the front row who take to the field for the first time since the Rugby World Cup. There the Statesiders suffered a 45-7 defeat at the hands of Sunday’s opponents in their opening Pool fixture.
This marks a major upturn in fortunes for the 23-year-old Athlonian who transferred from Buccaneers to new Los Angeles rugby franchise LA Giltinis just before Christmas. Carty had been released by Connacht shortly prior to that and then planned a move to an Australian club. However, Covid-19 put paid to that but Darren Coleman (the coach who was bringing him to Sydney) then took up a new role as head coach at LA Giltinis and he tempted Carty to the west coast of USA.
There Luke plays in a squad that includes noted internationals such as Australian duo Adam Ashley Cooper and Matt Giteau, who has been capped over 100 times by the Wallabies. Named after a cocktail, LA Giltinis sparkling brand of rugby has them topping America’s Major League Rugby. Carty is clearly flourishing in the environment and a USA born grandmother makes him eligible for selection by the Eagles.
That is surely a massive step up from Connacht’s Eagles and the province will now ponder their decision to release the promising flyhalf from their ranks. Luke was Buccaneers top points scorer and the club’s Player of the Year in his final full season at Dubarry Park where his elder brothers Jack and Ben were also key players. His father Ted is a staunch supporter of the club of which he is a past president. And he is also a recent president of Connacht Rugby. His mother Susan is a prominent member of Buccaneers Ladies committee.
Luke, who represented Ireland at U-18 grade, is a past pupil of Marist College and played GAA with St. Brigid’s. He has wonderful potential and, in taking on a fresh challenge thousands of miles from home, he displays similar commitment and dedication to eldest brother Jack whose ceaseless and improving efforts established him at Connacht and led to recognition on the Ireland senior team.
Everyone at Buccaneers wishes Luke all the best on his debut at the legendary Twickenham Stadium where hosts England will start with eight new caps. The match kicks off at 2 p.m. and there will be live TV coverage on Channel 4 on Sunday.