LEICESTER, England - Blaine Scully, the former Cal captain, four-time All-American and two-time national champion who went on to earn a U.S. Olympic Committee-financed contract playing 7s with the U.S. National Team, has accepted an extended trial opportunity with the Leicester Tigers, positioning himself for a possible professional contract in the United Kingdom.
Leicester is the most successful team in the professional Premiership league, with 10 English championships since 1987 and appearances in the past nine finals in a row. Eric Fry (London Irish) and Chris Biller (Northampton Saints) are the other most recent former Bears who have earned pro contracts in the Premiership, following Mike MacDonald (Leeds Carnegie). The Tigers are also the most successful English team to compete in Europe’s Heineken Cup, with two of those championships in their history.
Scully, who has 11 international appearances including the 2011 Rugby World Cup in national team 15s and played in seven IRB 7s tournaments, the 2011 Pan American Games and 2009 World Games so far in his international career, made a successful return to the game last autumn after spending several months at Cal rehabilitating an injury. “I don't know how else I would have done it," he said of his success preparing to return at Cal’s Simpson Center for Student-Athlete High Performance.
During his training in Berkeley following reparative surgery, Scully also served as assistant coach for the Bears as they transitioned from 15s to 7s to play at the 2012 Collegiate Rugby Championship, which he played twice during his career in blue and gold and which the Bears went on to win in 2013.
Matches begin for Leicester in August, while the American Collegiate Fall 2013 7s season will mark the start of Cal rugby’s 132nd year.