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Former Ulster prop and recently-inked Worcester Warrior Callum Black has pulled himself out of the Eagles player pool for June. The 32-year-old American-born, Irish-bred prop committed to suit up for former Worcester head coach Gary Gold and the USA this summer. He was announced last week as a member of the June squad, but he won’t be earning an international cap after all.
“It’s quite a contentious situation, but very disappointing,” Gold told Rugby Today. “I’ve been in long talks with him, and I’ve been monitoring him so long. He’s unfortunately let us down now. He’s not really in a position to make himself available, so Callum won’t be joining us.”
Another Premiership prop will take his place, though, as 21-cap Titi Lamositele has been called into the squad. At just 23 years of age, the homegrown prop from Bellingham, Wash. is already an established overseas pro, having earned 37 Premiership caps for Saracens, including six starts.
“I just think if USA Rugby and I believe we are serious about improving the game, at least putting ourselves on the world stage, one of the things I think we need is we need people who want to be part of the program,” said Gold.
“For me, the game is so driven on important ethical principles. It’s a cornerstone of the game, always has been. It’s one of the things that makes rugby different from other sports is that loyalty and camaraderie.
“We can’t go around begging players to play for the team. If they want to play international rugby and they want to represent their country, then that’s wonderful. There’s got to be a hunger and desire for that. We can’t be running after players. He made his call, and that’s fine. It’s just disappointing, the whole process, and how we got there.”