You are here

Cody Schmelter photo

John Mitchell has tabbed four recent 7s Eagles, eight overseas pros and two domestic pros to face Italy Saturday, making the lineup the USA’s most professional starting 15 to date. Nate Brakeley, who's most recently played club ball with New York Athletic Club, is the only domestic amateur in the starting lineup.

PRO representatives are Chris Baumann (Denver) and Taku Ngwenya (San Diego). Overseas pros include Titi Lamositele (Saracens), Greg Peterson (Glasgow), Andrew Durutalo (Sunwolves), Todd Clever (Newcastle), Cam Dolan (Cardiff) AJ MacGinty (Connacht) and Blaine Scully (Cardiff). Nate Augspurger, Shalom Suniula, Thretton Palamo and Will Holder are contracted with the 7s team at the Olympic Training Center.

Augspurger will earn his first cap with the start at scrumhalf. He beat out two other capped scrumhalves, Shalom Suniula and Shaun Davies, the latter of whom was sent home early from camp, for the spot.

Outside of a season with Old Blue of New York, the highest level of 15s Augspurger has played was at the University of Minnesota – a mid-level DI college program, where he didn’t always play scrumhalf. Augspurger has grown into a legitimate 7s World Series player, but his selection seems like a bit of a leap of faith on behalf of the coaching staff.

Though Suniula isn’t starting at nine, he is in the lineup at inside center, a new position for him. His brothers, Roland and Andrew, have played there before, but Shalom has only ever played in the halfbacks in international 15s before.

Will Holder is earning his second-ever start for Team USA, also at a new position. He started at flyhalf in his Eagle debut, coincidentally Mike Tolkin’s debut as head coach, in 2012. Four years later, he’ll be at fullback.

The game will be streamed live at 6 p.m. PT, and it will be shown in tape delay at 9 p.m. ET Sunday on CBS Sports Network. 

Men's Eagles | v. Italy 
1. Titi Lamositele 
2. James Hilterbrand 
3. Chris Baumann 
4. Nate Brakeley 
5. Greg Peterson 
6. Andrew Durutalo 
7. Todd Clever (C) 
8. Cam Dolan 
9. Nate Augspurger 
10. AJ MacGinty 
11. Blaine Scully 
12. Shalom Suniula 
13. Thretton Palamo 
14. Taku Ngwenya 
15. Will Holder

Men's Eagles | Reserves 
16. Joe Taufete'e 
17. Ben Tarr 
18. Angus MacLellan 
19. Stephen Tomasin 
20. Harry Higgins 
21. Tony Lamborn 
22. Chad London 
23. Mike Te'o

Italy | v. USA 
1. Andrea Lovotti 
2. Ornel Gega 
3. Lorenzo Cittadini 
4. Quintin Geldenhuys 
5. Marco Fuser 
6. Robert Barbieri 
7. Simone Favaro 
8. Andries Van Schalkwyk 
9. Edoardo Gori (C) 
10. Carlo Canna 
11. David Odiete 
12. Tommaso Castello 
13. Michele Campagnaro 
14. Leonardo Sarto 
15. Luke McLean

Italy | Reserves 
16. Oliviero Fabiani 
17. Sami Panico 
18. Pietro Ceccarelli 
19. Valerio Bernabo 
20. Maxime Mbanda 
21. Guglielmo Palazzani 
22. Tommaso Allan 
23. Giovanbattista Venditti

Men's Eagles | Summer Series Coaching Staff 
John Mitchell - Head Coach 
Phil Greening - Defense Coach 
Mike Friday - Attack Coach 
Rob Hoadley - Backs Coach 
Marty Veale - Forwards Coach 
Chris Brown - Strength and Conditioning Coach 
Alex Ross - Strength and Conditioning Coach 
Brian Finn - Physiotherapist 
Rob Wassilak - Physiotherapist 
Simon Hurry - Mental Skills 
Sean Lindersmith - Manager

Men's Eagles | Summer Series 2016 
v. Italy - Saturday, June 18 @ Avaya Stadium 
v. Russia - Saturday, June 25 @ Bonney Field