Saturday, August 17, 2013

Titi Lamositele set to break records with USA debut

Titi Lamositele could become the youngest
ever player to play for the USA if he comes
off the bench against Canada
USA have named young prop Titi Lamositele on the bench for their RWC qualifier with Canada this weekend and the selection is set to break a number of records for youngest player.

If Lamositele gets on the pitch and gains a cap he will become the youngest ever player to play in a test match for the USA (Hanno Dirksen did play aged 17 in an uncapped match in 2008), and will break the record of Thretton Palamo who was the youngest player at the 2007 World Cup.

But whilst it is rare for an 18 year old to get an international cap, it is even extremely rare for an 18 year old playing at prop to do so. In the history of international rugby union only 6 players who play at prop have made their debut aged 18, the most recent being Vasil Kakovin for Georgia in 2008, whilst the youngest ever prop is Federico Mendéz who started at loosehead against Ireland in 1990.

Lamositele was called up initially in the Pacific Nations Cup but didn't end up playing. The American scrum suffered immensely throughout the period costing the Eagles their chance against Ireland and the scrum suffered horrifically in the game against the Japanese, and the way the prospect has been fast tracked about 3 years quicker than a prop normally would be is possibly a clear sign the dire state the USA scrum is in.

Lamositele is seen as the big hope in the future and has already been lined up by Premiership academies in England, he will be tested hard against seasoned adult players even though Canada don't have a great scrum themselves. Time will tell if the fast tracking of the very young prop will help the USA in the future.

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