Former Northland College student and Chicago Bears running back Paul Lasike is set to complete his transition from the NFL to rugby union after being named in the USA Eagles squad to compete in the upcoming Americas Rugby Championship.
Lasike, who made 10 appearances for the Bears during the 2016 season, has been included in USA head coach Gary Gold's 39-man side for the tournament.
The former Arizona Cardinals practice squad member was released by Chicago last May, and was signed by the Utah Warriors, one of seven clubs that are set to compete in Major League Rugby, the highly-anticipated professional American domestic competition set to kick off in April.
"It's an honour to be considered," the 27-year-old told the Utah Warriors Rugby website.
"I've got some work to do, but it's been fun getting back in the mix of things.
"The Eagles is obviously a big step up, but I'm confident in the progress I've made so far."
The 113kg midfielder's USA call up marks his return to the sport that he played at secondary school level for both Westlake Boys High School and the now-closed Church College of New Zealand.
After taking up a rugby scholarship by Brigham Young University, Lasike led his side to four national championships during his time at the Utah-based college.
Lasike could make his international debut when USA kick their Americas Rugby Championship campaign off against an Argentina XV at the StubHub Center in Los Angeles on Sunday (NZT).