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37 players will represent the United States in the inaugural Americas Rugby Championship beginning next month. The player pool includes just 11 Eagles from last year’s Rugby World Cup and 15 with caps, meaning as many as 22 players will earn their first in the pilot competition.

The team was selected by high performance director Alex Magleby and strength and conditioning manager David Williams. Eagles head man John Mitchell will join the team during training in Houston due to the passing of his mother in New Zealand. Phil Greening, the former England captain and British & Irish Lion who has assisted Mike Friday with the 7s Eagles, will assume interim head coaching duties in the meantime.

Greening is one of three new assistant coaches appointed for the ARC. He’s joined by Marty Veale, who has been playing and coaching with New York Old Blue going on a decade after a professional career overseas, and Rob Hoadley, another former English international. All three spent time with the London Wasps, just like Mitchell, Friday and USA Rugby CEO Nigel Melville.

The most notable veteran named in the ARC pool is Todd Clever. Assuming he appears in all three of the matches he’s available for, he will creep within one cap of Mike MacDonald for the USA’s all-time appearance record.

Several top-line Eagles will play just one game in the competition, Argentina – Cam Dolan, Greg Peterson, Takudzwa Ngwenya and Blaine Scully. Fellow overseas pro Eric Fry will play against Argentina and Canada before returning to Newcastle, while clubmate Clever will also be available against Chile before heading back overseas.

Numerous overseas pros and capped Eagles were unavailable for selection, though some were simply not picked, too. Andrew Suniula (38 caps), Tom Coolican (8 caps) and Kyle Sumsion (5 caps) were among those available and not selected.

The glaring positions of dearth for the USA for the ARC will be at lock and flyhalf. The only pure lock in the extended squad is Peterson, who will play just one game. Dolan has logged a lot of time in the second row, but he will also be available for just one game. Clever and Trouville certainly have played lock, but sparingly. Outside of the Argentina game, the USA will be relying on debutants, inexperience and out-of-position players in the engine room.

There isn’t a cap in the squad in the flyhalf position. Eloff is a multi-time All-American and a veteran of the age-grade system, but he has no senior international duty. James Bird has been plying his trade at the club level.

There are two positive coups of note. One is the inclusion of Tom Bliss at scrumhalf. He has participated in age-grade duty with the USA but rebuffed the senior national team in the past to keep his domestic status in the U.K. to make himself more employable in the Premiership. That he will earn his first cap and be available for the entire tournament is a big win for the Eagles staff.

The other notable acquisition is that of Michelangelo Sosene-Feagai, a former U20s player with Samoa. He’s spent time recently in New Zealand and is now embedded in Belmont Shore with fellow selection Joseph Taufete’e, adding much needed depth and youth to the hooker position.  

 

NAMECLUB/INSTITUTION
Jake AndersonOlympic Club
Chris BaumannAustin Rugby Club
Demecus BeachLife University
James BirdOld Blue of New York
Patrick BlairMen's Eagles Sevens
Tom BlissLondon Wasps (England)
Todd CleverNewcastle Falcons (England)
Cameron DolanCardiff Blues (Wales)
Nic EdwardsMen's Eagles Sevens
Jean Pierre EloffChicago Lions RFC
Cameron FalconNew Orleans Rugby Football Club
Lemoto FilikitongaMetropolis RFC
Eric FryNewcastle Falcons (England)
Mike GarritySeattle Saracens
Hanco GermishuysGlendale Raptors
Alec GletzerOlympic Club
James HilterbrandUnattached
Luke HumeOld Blue of New York
Olive KilifiSeattle Saracens
Niku KrugerGlendale Raptors
Titi LamositeleSaracens (England)
Ben LandrySeattle Saracens
Chad LondonGlendale Raptors
Ryan MatyasOld Blue of New York
Kingsley McGowanTrinity College Dublin
Takudzwa NgwenyaBiarritz Olympique
Brodie OrthKansas City Blues
Greg PetersonGlasgow Warriors (Scotland)
Aladdin SchirmerCentral Washington University
Blaine ScullyCardiff Blues (Wales)
Michelangelo Sosene-FeagaiBelmont Shore Rugby Football Club
Tim StanfillSeattle Saracens
David TameilauLife West Gladiators
Joseph Taufete'eBelmont Shore Rugby Football Club
Mike Te'oMen's Eagles Sevens
Bruce ThomasSan Francisco Golden Gate Rugby Club
Matt TrouvilleSeattle Saracens
Pos. ArgentinaCanadaChileBrazilUruguay
FRBaumannBaumannBaumannBaumannBaumann
FRBeachBeachBeach
FalconFalconFalcon
FRFryFry
FRHilterbrandHilterbrand
FRKilifiKilifiKilifiKilifiKilifi
FRSosene-FeagaiSosene-FeagaiSosene-FeagaiSosene-FeagaiSosene-Feagai
FRTaufete'eTaufete'eTaufete'eTaufete'eTaufete'e
2ndDolan
2ndLandryLandryLandryLandryLandry
2ndOrthOrthOrth
2ndPeterson
2nd/BRTameilauTameilauTameilauTameilauTameilau
BRCleverCleverClever
BRBlairBlair
BRGermishuysGermishuys
BRGletzerGletzerGletzerGletzerGletzer
BRSchirmerSchirmer
BRThomasThomasThomasThomasThomas
BRTrouvilleTrouvilleTrouvilleTrouvilleTrouville
SHBlissBlissBlissBlissBliss
SHKrugerKrugerKrugerKrugerKruger
FHBirdBirdBirdBirdBird
FHEloffEloffEloffEloffEloff
CFilikitongaFilikitongaFilikitongaFilikitongaFilikitonga
CGarrityGarrityGarrityGarrityGarrity
CLondonLondonLondonLondonLondon
CMcGowanMcGowanMcGowanMcGowanMcGowan
W/FBAndersonAndersonAndersonAndersonAnderson
W/FBEdwardsEdwards
W/FBHumeHume
W/FBMatyasMatyas
W/FBNgwenya
W/FBScully
W/FBStanfillStanfill
W/FBTe'oTe'oTe'oTe'oTe'o

Comments

Where are NIck Civetta, Graham Harriman and Brian Doyle? All three can play lock and Harriman was outstanding against the Maori only to seemingly drop off the face of the Earth for the Eagles. WTF? Also, when are we going to get a legit article telling us what actually happened to Scott Lavalla since the whole military thing seems to be an unconfirmed rumor at best? Also, as someone who's not really big on 7's, it's a shame that Danny Barrett won't be available for the ARC.
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