Northeast Academy’s Connor Wallace-Sims, 21, will continue his rugby career in 2017 at Chula Vista with the USA National Team.
A young Wallace-Sims first fell in love with the game of rugby when he watched his home nation, England, win the World Cup in 2003. Immediately, the boy was hooked—he begged his father, Jason, to let him play until he was nine years old, when he finally joined the local rugby club, Devonport Services. Wallace-Sims played with the club until he turned 17, at which point the maturing athlete advanced to Canterbury RFC, a men’s national 2 side, and ultimately earned his place with the USA U-20 program.
Before he was recruited by Marty Veale to play for Old Blue New York RFC, Wallace-Sims actually watched the New York City 7s—Northeast Academy’s international name—on television during the World Club 7’s tournament at Twickenham. It was his first true introduction to rugby in New York, the eye-opening experience that convinced him to play the game in the City. To his surprise, the player discovered he would be training with Northeast Academy—the team that inspired his journey to New York—in addition to his new club.
Over the last two years, the talented back-3 developed into a more consistent and prominent performer with both Old Blue 15’s and 7’s teams as well as the Academy’s squad. At the 2015 New York City 7’s tournament, Wallace-Sims truly shined before a national audience, earning Men’s MVP honors with the Academy. The following year, he stood out once more on the renowned Samurai squad.
In October 2016, Wallace-Sims received his first invitation to the national team’s camp; this was shortly followed up with another trip to Chula Vista in November before the start of the HSBC Sevens World Series.
“It’s been great to see Connor develop and mature over the last few years and see him add improved decision-making to his other talents,” Northeast Academy’s co-founder and senior advisor Steve Lewis praised.
For Wallace-Sims, Northeast Academy deserves the credit for his growth as a player.
“The Northeast Academy has helped massively. Going on tours and playing against some of the best players and teams in the country has been amazing…The coaches have been amazing and have kept pushing me in the right direction,” Wallace-Sims praised. “It’s been a great experience at both Old Blue and the Northeast and I’m excited about taking this next step.”
The Northeast Academy is a National Development Academy sanctioned by USA Rugby as the official designated pathway to the USA Eagles National Team selection for both Men and Women in the Northeast of America. With training locations in New York City, Boston and Buffalo, the Academy offers development in three distinct areas: elite player advancement; coach education; and local union enrichment; and has the ultimate goal to augment the skills of players and coaches alike, growing the game within the EMPIRE and NERFU Unions.