Quadzilla is real.
Quadzilla is real.

Aussie ‘Quadzilla’ burns US star

Powerhouse sprinter Trae Williams will add the X-factor of raw speed to the Australian rugby sevens squad after switching sports little more than a year out from the Tokyo Olympics.

Williams, nicknamed Quadzilla, set his 100m personal best of 10.10 seconds at the 2018 Commonwealth Games trials and just 10 days after representing Australia at the world relays meet in Japan, the 22-year-old announced he was changing sports.

The recruitment bombshell has inadvertently triggered a war of words with American star Carlin Isles - the man widely recognised as the fastest man in rugby.

The legs born for rugby.
The legs born for rugby.

 

Trae Williams already has enemies.
Trae Williams already has enemies.

Isles, a former college sprinter and American football speedster, has a personal best time of 10.13 seconds - slower than Williams' PB.

The American star did not appear to welcome the news of Williams' big career change on Wednesday night.

In response to a claim on Twitter that Australia may now have the new fastest man in the game they play in heaven, Isles fired back that the title still belongs to him.

 

Williams is just happy to have pulled the trigger on his new career.

"I'm really excited about this new adventure with the Aussie 7s," Williams said after signing a contract with Rugby Australia through until 2021.

"I've always loved rugby and to be able to potentially chase an Olympic dream through rugby is something I never expected. I want to grab this opportunity with both hands."

The 76kg Williams played schoolboy rugby and rugby league in Brisbane and attended academy training sessions with NRL club North Queensland in 2014.

Despite his life-changing decision, Williams says he's still shooting for the same destination he was previously on.

"It was hard to say no when the chance to be an Olympian is still the big goal, just in a different sport," Williams said, according to The Courier-Mail.

"I've always loved my footy and (Australian sevens coach) Tim Walsh sees me as an extra piece for the puzzle to keep the sevens team improving.

"I don't want to say speed is all that rugby's getting because I like the contact too and I'll be working on all the skills to be a sevens player."

Carlin Isles is less than pleased.
Carlin Isles is less than pleased.

The Australian men's sevens team currently sit seventh on the World Series standings, well below the top-four finish needed for automatic qualification for the Tokyo Olympics.

But the Australian team is still likely to guarantee its spot at the Tokyo Games at an Oceania qualifying tournament in November.

Williams will attend this weekend's London round of the World Series as an observer.

Australian sevens coach Tim Walsh said Williams was looking forward to joining the program.

"We've identified that a key area we need to improve on is adding more speed to our squad and Trae is the combination of speed and physical ability," he said in a statement.

"Physically he is in excellent condition to convert into sevens and what he will potentially offer us in terms of speed out wide will add to what we offer on the world stage.