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Ian Muir photo

With several players leaving the assembly as scheduled, some to return to their professional clubs, four changes have been made to the Eagles’ starting lineup from the win over Canada to Saturday’s clash with Chile. Six new caps are on offer, with one guaranteed, as Psalm Wooching gets the start at blindside flanker. Taking over the captaincy for the departed Blaine Scully is scrumhalf Nate Augspurger.

"A few players have gone back to their professional setup," said Hodges. "While that is a challenge we acknowledge and work through, the players who have come into the camp this week have helped energize the team and will add a positive impact to the group."

Wooching is the former University of Washington linebacker who famously spurned the NFL Draft to pursue a professional rugby career. He’ll begin that career in April with the upstart Major League Rugby’s Seattle Seawolves. Wooching played high school rugby in Hawaii before taking a gridiron scholarship at UW.

Another significant football figure could earn his first cap in former Chicago Bears and Arizona Cardinals fullback Paul Lasike. He first moved to the United States from his native New Zealand to play for the Highland High School program. He’d enroll at BYU, where he was an instant difference maker, helping the Cougars to multiple national titles. He then walked onto the football team and was signed as undrafted free agent after school. Saturday will Lasike’s first real rugby match in years, though he’s expected to return to a high standard of play once his fitness is in place. He’ll be playing in the MLR with the Utah Warriors.

The other guys hoping to earn their first caps include hooker Dylan Fawsitt, scrumhalf Ruben de Haas, lock Brendan Daly and flanker Malon Al-Jiboori. Fawsitt is an Irish import who came up through the Life men’s club. He currently plays for Old Blue of New York. Daly is a former Cal All-American. De Haas is South African, but attended high school in Little Rock, Ark., and he’s now training in the Cheetahs Academy in South Africa. Al-Jiboori has already earned his first 7s cap, as he’s contracted full-time with the 7s Eagles. This is his first crack at a full cap, though. He played high school ball for Union in Tulsa, Okla.

USA Men’s Eagles Starters | USA vs Chile | 2018 Americas Rugby Championship

  1. Huluholo Moungaloa | Life West Gladiators
  2. James Hilterbrand | Manly Marlins (AUS)
  3. Dino Waldren | London Scottish
  4. Nate Brakeley | New York Athletic
  5. Ben Landry | Glendale Raptors
  6. Psalm Wooching | Austin Elite
  7. Tony Lamborn | Hawkes Bay (NZL)
  8. Cam Dolan | San Diego Legion
  9. Nate Augspurger (C) | San Diego Legion
  10. Will Magie | Glendale Raptors
  11. Ryan Matyas | San Diego Legion
  12. Bryce Campbell | Glendale Raptors
  13. Dylan Audsley | San Diego Legion
  14. Josh Whippy | Utah Warriors
  15.  Mike Te’o | San Diego Legion

 

USA Men’s Eagles Reserves | USA vs Chile| 2018 Americas Rugby Championship

  1. Dylan Fawsitt | Old Blue of New York
  2. Tony Purpura | San Diego Legion
  3. Angus Maclellan | Utah Warriors
  4. Brendan Daly | San Francisco Golden Gate
  5. Malon Al-Jiboori | San Diego Legion
  6. Ruben de Haas | Free State Cheetahs Academy (RSA)
  7. Ben Cima | San Diego Legion
  8. Paul Lasike | Utah Warriors

USA Men's Eagles Staff | 2018 Americas Rugby Championship
Gary Gold: Head Coach
Greg McWilliams: Assistant Coach - Backs & Attack
Scott Lawrence: Assistant Coach - Defense
Shawn Pittman: Assistant Coach - Set Piece
Chris Hanson: Team Manager
Dave Hodges: Men's Eagles General Manager
Jimmy Harrison: Analyst
Kevin Ng: Head ATC
Brian Finn: Assistant ATC (Jan. 24 - Feb. 17)
Dr. Deborah Light: Team Doctor (Feb. 11 - Feb. 17) 
Dr. Jeff Mjaanes: Team Doctor (Feb. 18 - Mar. 4)

USA Men's Eagles | 2018 Americas Rugby Championship
vs Argentina XV - 17-10 (W)

vs Canada - 29-10 (W)

vs Chile
Sat, Feb. 17 | 5 PM ET
Titan Stadium, Fullerton, CA

vs Brazil
Sat, Feb. 24 | 2:40 PM ET
Martins Pereira Stadium, Sao Jose Dos Campos, Brazil

vs Uruguay
Sat, Mar. 3 | 1:30 PM ET
Estadio Charrua, Montevideo, Uruguay