|Todd Clever as a Lion|
USA Eagles back rower and captain, Todd Clever is set to be named as the captain of the North American All Star team that will take on South African Super Rugby franchise, the Lions in April. The announcement is fantastic news for rugby followers worldwide as it means the match will have new found importance as a marketing too. Clever is a former Lion. He played in South Africa for the Johannesburg based team in 2009 and 2010 in both the Super Rugby competition and in South Africa´s Currie Cup. Clever left the team to join Suntory Sungoliath in Japan with whom he became a Japanese champion before signing for rival club the NTT Shining Arcs.
Clever led the USA at Rugby World Cup 2011 in what was his third Rugby World Cup after he made his international debut in 2003. He is still young, having just turned 30 last week, and is highly likely to lead the USA at Rugby World Cup 2015 in England. The USA will compete with Canada in a home and away series in July with the winner advancing to Rugby World Cup 2015 as Americas 1 while the loser will face the South American winner (probably Uruguay) also home and away with the matches likely to be played in November. The first stage of preperation for the vital matches begin in April against the Golden Lions. The game has been confirmed for April 13 and will be played at Titan Stadium in Irvine, California. There will also be a match played in Vancouver, Canada.
The two match series is to be called the Rugby Showdown with Clever leading a team which will be made up of North American based international players from both Canada and the United States of America. The colaboration will not end there as both Mike Tolkin and Kieran Crowley will be in charge of coaching one of the matches. Tolkin will be in charge of the game in Califonia while Crowley will take over for the Vancouver fixture. The possibility also exists for a number of test players based in professional clubs to participate in the series.
Source: Rugby 365