Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Famous Faces Abroad - USA players in England

In the 2010-2011 Aviva Premiership there will be three players from North America, all of whom are from the USA. Given that it is the last season before Rugby World Cup 2011, the Aviva Premiership is going to be highly significant for the USA Eagles. For the spectators it is bound to be exciting with three of the country´s best players trying their best to secure their places in New Zealand 2011.

USA Eagles prop, Mike MacDonald will play another season for Leeds Carnegie as he tries to get back into the USA national team. The San Francisco native needs a strong season because other props have been prefered to the 58 test veteran in recent international matches. MacDonald is bound to benefit from the arrival of Argentine prop Miguel Alonso from Italy and Spanish prop Jesus Moreno Rodriguez from Spain.

USA Eagles second-rower Hayden Smith will be looking for more game time this season for defeated finalists from the 2009-2010 season, Saracens. Smith was not part of the USA Eagles team at this years Churchill Cup but did play in both Rugby World Cup Qualifying tests in november. Smith made his USA debut in 2008 and has played 10 tests so far.

Eagles wing / fullback Chris Wyles will also be playing for Saracens. Both Smith and Wyles are certainties to make the Eagles squad for Rugby World Cup 2011. Wyles has been a great player for the club, scoring some great tries including the second for Saracens in the 2010 Guinness Premiership semi final victory vs Northampton. Wyles also had a very good Churchill Cup, scoring two tries against Russia.

There will also be a number of North American test internationals playing in the RFU Championship this season, including players from Canada, the USA and Barbados. The United States will have three international players in the RFU Championship.

Two of them are scrum-halves - Robbie Shaw will be playing for Bristol and Tim Usasz for Nottingham. Usasz was a member of the USA Eagles for the 2010 Churchill Cup and needs a strong season to earn his place in the Eagles squad for Rugby World Cup 2011.

New London-Welsh signing, Shawn Pittman, is joining the team from the Bayside Sharks in Vancouver, Canada.

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