Thursday, September 20, 2012

Two South Africans who could possibly play for USA

With the Eagles loss of Hayden Smith to NFL, a possible option as a replacement for him could be the 25 year old South African lock Fudge Mabeta.
Boston born Fudge Mabeta

Mabeta has spent his entire career with the Bulls, but has never really progressed beyond the Vodacom/Currie Cup side as the Pretoria based side has a numerous Springbok quality locks, previously there was the famous partnership of Bakkies Botha and Victor Matfield with Danie Rossouw on the bench, now there is Juandré Kruger and Flip van der Merwe and Emerging Springbok Wilhelm Steenkamp in reserve.

Added to the battery of lock ahead of Mabeta in the Bulls pecking order, he has suffered from injuries and has missed the entirety of the 2012 season after getting injured in a car crash.

However his lack of chances at Super Rugby level and having no chance of getting a Springbok call up could mean that he could become available to the USA in the future.

Mabeta was born in Boston, USA as his father was in exile in the States due to South Africa's apartheid regime. He lived the first few years of his life in the US, and his mother is American meaning he is eligible to be selected for the USA.
If the lock could be persuaded to play for the Eagles he would be a welcome addition to the side as the first choice locks from the World Cup Hayden Smith and John van der Giessen are both now unavailable, and Samu Manoa's availability has proved to difficult to achieve since he signed for Northampton.

Another possible American born South African who is eligible for the USA is the Stormers utility back Marcel Brache.

Los Angeles born Marcel Brache
Brache covers all outside back positions from centre, wing and full back. He was born in Los Angeles and moved to South Africa aged 4. He was part of the Western Province's unbeaten Vodacom Cup winning side this year, and like Mabeta hasn't been able to break through into the first choice Super Rugby side as the Stormers have strong depth in his position.

With Eagles veteran Paul Emerick now 32, and only likely to make one more World Cup, Brache could be a like for like replacement. He is around the same age as Mabeta, and both of them would be able to play in at least two World Cups if they made themselves available before the 2015 World Cup.

The USA have failed to persuade Hanno Dirksen to play for them after he turned down an offer in favour of qualifying to play for Wales from 2014. But with the USA's large community around the world there could be more players available around the globe.

One player the USA might want to give a miss to though is the Dragons prop Tim Ryan, they called up his brother Dave Ryan earlier this year (although he didn't play) which would suggest Tim Ryan may be available. But Ryan won't do much for the USA's scrum issues, he is best known for being embarrassingly destroyed by Northampton in a scrum whilst with Newcastle in 2010.

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