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But Petri is still central to the Eagles, and has been hard at work preparing.

“We haven’t had a league season with NYAC but we’ve had some good games – a Canadian touring side, stiff like that,” Petri told “We haven’t been playing week-in, week-out, but I think when we get back to playing in the spring we will have a lot of good games to play.”

Meanwhile Petri has been training around teaching science at Xavier, where he will also help coach the rugby team.

“I have been doing strength and conditioning with the kids and with that and the teaching, I really love it,” he said.  “Working out with the kids is great but I also know I have to work hard to keep my skills up. I do think that a lot of the players on the national team are self-starters. You really have to want it to do the work.”

Petri has been working with Toby L’Estrange, who is also expected to get a nod with the Eagles squad, likely at flyhalf, and with lock Brian Doyle.

“We all want to be as ready as we can be,” Petri said. “We thing these are three winnable games and these are games we should go into with the expectation that we will win. We just need to execute.”

Petri has spent some time overseas, but not a lot and is almost entirely a USA-trained and –developed player. But other players have gone overseas, and being in that full-time environment this fall is great for them, he said.

“I look at guys like Scott LaValla and Eric Fry, and they are going to be exponentially better,” Petri said. “I think the benefit they get from playing tough games in top competitions – credit to Fry he rolled the dice in New Zealand and it worked for him – and the training is going to be glaringly apparent.”

Those overseas or based domestically are painfully aware that they need to win rankings tests - it's what gets them better fixtures in the future and favorable matchups, as well.