Three more Americans have signed on to play professionally with clubs in Europe. Salesi Sika, Tyson Meek and Mark Aylor are the latest players to make the move across the Atlantic.
Sika, a fixture with the Eagles for the past three years with 12 caps to his credit and also on BYU's collegiate runner-up ream this past season, has signed a contract with French club Beziers for the upcoming 2006/07 season.
Beziers currently plays in the Rugby Pro D2 league, the French second division, having been relegated from the Top 14 after the 2004/05 season. Beziers have been a force in French rugby in the past, having won 11 French championships, but have fallen off the mark in recent years with their relegation.
Sika is already in Beziers in preparation for the club's first match on September 2nd. He will miss the Collegiate All-American matches against Canada's U-21 squad on August 24 and 26 as a result. Sika was also in the process of finishing his degree in civil engineering at BYU, but will take online courses during the season and will try to finish up at BYU next summer.
"Certainly this experience will improve my skills and abilities since I'll be training, practicing, and playing rugby as a profession and also play with and against top rugby players, as opposed to playing collegiate rugby here in the US," Sika told American Rugby News.
Tyson Meek (Denver Barbarians) has signed with Nottingham, while Mark Aylor (Austin) will join the Exeter Chiefs, both Division I clubs.
The latest signings will see two Eagles playing in France for the upcoming season with Sika's US teammate and Utahan Mike Palefau signing on with Narbonne, while Meek and Aylor will join Mike Petri (Penn State) at Waterloo and Mark West (New Mexico) with Hertford in England.