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The guest player system in the Pacific Rugby Premiership has produced its first high-profile recruit, with Old Blue and USA flyhalf/center Adam Siddall slated to suit up for Belmont Shore this coming weekend.
Siddall, who must have received some special weather-forecasting memo, is not in New York and instead has been training at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. Siddall's sister lives nearby, which would be a reason to visit, but so, too would be the fact that Southern California is not covered in snow.
The Old Blue back, who emerged as a major candidate for the Eagles flyhalf job after Toby L'Estrange was injured, helped beat Georgia with a last-second penalty, and also manned the pivot in the USA's 28-7 defeat of Russia in November. He is still with Old Blue in New York, but under the guest player system in place at the PRP, he can play with a team in the West Coast competition and retain his eligibility because the PRP games do not lead to a USA National Championship. Oddly, if he played for Belmont Shore's B-side, which competes in SoCal's DI league, he would lose his eligibility.
Belmont Shore Head Coach Ray Egan said he plans to use Siddall at flyhalf because that is where USA National Team Head Coach Mike Tolkin wants to see him.
"I think it's important to support what a player will need to succeed at the international level," he said. In a similar move, Egan will put Mike Te'o in at scrumhalf for the same reason.