Tuesday, October 26, 2010

USA Eagles Squad for European Tour

The continued development of the USA as a power in global rugby has been underlined by national coach, Eddie O’Sullivan in naming a squad of 28 players for next months European tour. Of the 28 players named, 17 are professional rugby players and of the remaining 11, only 1 was not part of the recent Americas Rugby Championship in Cordoba, Argentina.

The assignment of facing Saracens, Scotland ‘A’, Portugal, and Georgia is both challenging and inviting. The USA will have matches against strong teams and will be capable of returning home undefeated. The first match falls outside the IRB mandatory release window and so not all players will be avaliable to face Saracens. Both Chris Wyles and Hayden Smith will miss the match and both are USA internationals who play for Saracens.

The newcomer to the squad is French based Seta Tuilevuka who was interviewed here on Rugby World Cup - Argentina 2023 last week. When asked if he would could play for the USA at next years Rugby World Cup he commented "it may be a possibility but at this point, I'm not sure but would love to if things work out." His rise to stardom has been rapid and even one week ago he didn't see it coming. Seta's older brother, Alipate has also been selected in the squad too.

Returning to the USA Eagles from injury are three leading players. Eagles captain Todd Clever, winger Kevin Swiryn and secondrower Hayden Smith are all returning after missing the 2010 Churchill Cup with injuries. All three played on the weekend for their respective professional teams.

Suggested XV:
15 Chris Wyles, 14 Takudzwa Ngwenya, 13 Paul Emerick, 12 Seta Tuilevuka, 11 Kevin Swiryn, 10 Nese Malifa, 9 Mike Petri, 8 Nic Johnson, 7 Todd Clever, 6 Louis Stanfill, 5 Hayden Smith, 4 John van der Giessen, 3 Shawn Pittman, 2 Phil Thiel, 1 Mate Moeakiola.

USA Squad:
Inaki Basauri (L’Aquila, Italy)
Chris Biller (San Francisco Golden Gate)
Todd Clever (Suntory, Japan)
Paul Emerick (Ulster, Ireland)
Tai Enosa (Belmont Shore)
Eric Fry (Unattached)
JJ Gaganio (Eastern Province, South Africa)
Colin Hawley (Unattached)
Nic Johnson (Denver Barbarians)
Scott LaValla (Dublin University, Ireland)
Mike MacDonald (Leeds Carnegie, England)
Nese Malifa (Glendale)
Samu Manoa (San Francisco Golden Gate)
Mate Moeakiola (Bobigny 93, France)
Takudzwa Ngwenya (Biarritz, France)
Mike Petri (Sale, England)
Shawn Pittman (London Welsh, England)
Hayden Smith (Saracens, England)
Louis Stanfill (Mogliano, Italy)
Andrew Suniula (Chicago Griffins)
Kevin Swiryn (Agen, France)
Zack Test (Loughborough University)
Alipate Tuilevuka (Old Puget Sound Beach)
Seta Tuilevuka (Montpellier, France)
Phil Thiel (Life University)
Tim Usasz (Nottingham, England)
John van der Giessen (Bath, England)
Chris Wyles (Saracens, England)

Tour Schedule:
November 9th Saracens vs USA
November 13th Portugal vs USA
November 19th Scotland ‘A’ vs USA
November 27th Georgia vs USA

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