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All are painfully aware that as many as a dozen players who have long USA histories are not in camp, mostly due to pro rugby commitments, and as such these men are pushing for an already-dwindled number of spots.

The rain his the players hard on Saturday, and in fact the threat of lightning forced the afternoon session indoors. No matter; the players are too eager to worry about inconveniences like the weather.

Chris Saint is a former USA age-grader and All American from Penn State now playing at HARC in the Texas DI league. He is in a DI league, but one that doesn’t have a lot of Eagles in it.

“Almost all the guys here seem to be playing against each other regularly,” said the scrumhalf. “I think there’s a comfort level there. The pace of the game is a step up, and so is the physicality. But we’re mostly working on getting our pattern down and seeing as there’s a lot that carries over from the U20s and All Americans, it’s working out well.”

One thing the shifty but relatively diminutive former Penn State captain notice: “everyone here is big.”

Feeling a little more experienced is Zach Pangelinan. For the first time, said the OMBAC flyhalf who pans out as a #10, wing, or fullback for the Eagles, he is coming into camp feeling like he isn’t a newbie.

“I’m in the position now of being one of the experienced guys helping the newer guys,” he said. “I have more knowledge of the pattern and what the coaches are trying to do. I feel like things are coming along well for me.”

Pangelinan will be one of the players working with kicking coach Chris O’Brien to position himself as a goalkicker. There are several good goalkickers in camp – Pangelinan, Will Holder, Shaun Davies, Andrew Suniula, James Paterson, and Adam Siddall to name six – and Head Coach Mike Tolkin has made it clear goalkicking is, with other abilities, a pathway onto the starting 15.