Fry to fly with Eagles in Wales, Romania

PETER LAMPP
Last updated 08:30 20/10/2012

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All going well, Manawatu prop Eric Fry will be taking his New Zealand experience to north Wales and Romania next month.

In Wales, his United States Eagles play Russia and Tonga before heading to Romania.

The American national side has not yet been picked but his few months of intensive rugby with Manawatu have gone down well with the selectors.

"I have been asked if I'm available," Fry said. "I know I'm in the selection pool and feel confident about it.

"They were very pleased I was going to be signing with the Turbos."

After the international games, that will pretty much be Fry's rugby season over.

He will probably return to Sacramento, California, and maybe return to work as an office manager at the brewery in the city of Davis, where his brother works.

Fry played eight times for the Turbos this season, starting in four of those. His work rate was high and his driving play was much improved.

"I've enjoyed all the aspects of the play over here," he said.

Fry revelled in the coaching, professionalism and the company of his team-mates in the Turbos camp.

In New Zealand there was much more running rugby than he had previously encountered and the American team's new head coach is trying to implement that too.

"Outside the scrummaging, it was good to learn the different patterns of play and tactics."

Fry was brought in by the Turbos to cover both sides of the front row, which was tough considering most of his propping experience had been at tighthead prop.

And he admits he found it tough playing at loosehead prop at ITM Cup level.

He said propping on one shoulder on the left side of the front row was a world away from scrummaging at tighthead with two shoulders.

Fry found himself being penalised by referees for putting his hand on the ground at engagement.

"A lot of times the tighthead was trying to drop his right shoulder on my outside shoulder and that makes it tough to bind," Fry said.

"Towards the end I got more used to the engage."

If he gets the chance, he would like to come back to Manawatu next season.

"My understanding is that if the conditions are right, they'd like to have me back."

He also would not mind getting time with a club in Europe, even if it were short-term, but most clubs have started and have their rosters sorted.

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- Manawatu Standard

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