Eagles looking to overcome 18-point deficit in Toronto

Eagles looking to overcome 18-point deficit in Toronto

TORONTO, Ontario – Men’s Eagles Head Coach Mike Tolkin has released the 23-man roster for Saturday’s second leg of the 2015 Rugby World Cup Qualifier against Canada at BMO Field.

One of the changes following last weekend’s 9-27 loss to the northern neighbors is Chris Wyles moving to outside center and Blaine Scully replacing the Saracens star at fullback. Luke Hume returns to the squad to partner Takudzwa Ngwenya on the wing.

Robbie Shaw will earn his 11th cap and first start since the IRB Pacific Nations Cup match against Fiji in Japan in June. Shaw started in place of an injured Mike Petri against Canada in the Pacific Nations Cup match in May and will fill in for the New York Athletic Club scrumhalf this Saturday.

Todd Clever will captain the Eagles in his 52nd international cap and Brian Doyle will start at lock. Samu Manoa, who played the position in Charleston last weekend, has returned to Aviva Premiership’s Northampton for the upcoming English season.

In the two matches against Canada this year, Wyles has accounted for the Eagles’ 18 points with six penalty goals. The Eagles will need to win by at least 19 points in Toronto to qualify as Americas 1 for the 2015 Rugby World Cup England. Should the Eagles accomplish the goal, they will be placed in a pool with France, Ireland, Italy, and the Europe 2 qualifier.

Should the Eagles win by less than 19, draw, or lose to the Maple Leafs, they will have to participate in another two-leg series with NACRA champion Uruguay in 2014.

“We’re all pretty proud characters and we’re going to be putting in everything we have into this next game,” Wyles said after the first-leg loss in front of a sold out crowd at Blackbaud Stadium. “That’s for sure.”

Watch the Eagles at 4:00 P.M. ET live from BMO Field on Universal Sports and follow @USARugby on Twitter for in-game updates.

Men’s Eagles | v. Canada
1. Shawn Pittman
2. Chris Biller
3. Eric Fry
4. Louis Stanfill
5. Brian Doyle
6. Scott LaValla
7. Peter Dahl
8. Todd Clever (C)
9. Robbie Shaw
10. Toby L'Estrange
11. Luke Hume
12. Andrew Suniula
13. Chris Wyles
14. Takudzwa Ngwenya
15. Blaine Scully

Men's Eagles | Reserves
16. Zachary Fenoglio
17. Titi Lamositele
18. Phil Thiel
19. Cameron Dolan
20. Derek Asbun
21. Mike Petri
22. Folau Niua
23. Roland Suniula


Men's Eagles | v. Canada
Saturday, August 24 | 4:00 P.M. ET | BMO Field | Toronto, Ontario

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Comments (10)

  • Guest (Disappointed Eagles Fan)

    This should be Tolkin's last game win or lose. The experiment is over. He failed miserably and is without a doubt the worst Eagles coach in history. Canada will win easily by 15 to 20.

  • Guest (Concur)

    In reply to: Guest (Disappointed Eagles Fan)

    What more can you say? The worst of the worst....

  • Guest (Bill)

    I hope the pack is able to maintain the stability in the scrum seen last weekend. While they were not as dominant as many would have liked, it was a significant improvement over the last several games. I'm not sure if it was because of the new engagement rules or because Samu Manoa was stepping in at second row, but the loss of Manoa will certainly be felt. I do find it strange that USAR is reporting that Manoa is returning to Northampton for their preseason while other sites are stating "Visa Troubles". When press releases do not match up it leads me to believe there may be some dissension in the ranks. Luke Hume has been a spark for the Eagles offensively and defensively in his recent games. Let's hope with Hume and Ngwenya on the wings they start the fire to allow the Eagles to overcome the aggregate deficit.

  • Bill,

    The only official press release regarding Saturday's roster is from USA Rugby.

    Thank you,

    Chad Wise

  • Guest (Bill)

    In reply to: Chad Wise

    My apologies as I misstated the variation in reporting. There is one "official" press release from USA Rugby and a statement from another reputable news outlet that quotes "a source close to the team" providing a different perspective. Thank you for the correction Mr. Wise.

  • Guest (Joseph Smith II)

    Same old same old. Do not expect much difference. Yr=es a change a scrum half and one at full back, big deal. What has not changed is the team's leadership! Sorry but Clever has got to go, at least at captain. he sets a bad tone for the team, he is a frustrated American football player with limited rugby skills. Yes he is fit and yes he is aggressive, but usually to aggressive and less thoughtful of what needs to happen. His loose play around the ball is not what you expect from a premier number 8, where are the scores? Come on coach, make some real changes and give some of the other forwards a chance. Theil is tried and tested and Dolan has earned a shot. Its time to shake things up or find a new coach.

  • Guest (USARugbynot)

    I heard the problem with Samu was a Visa one with Canada. Not that he was going back to England. Also talked with people close to the team that said it is BS could have been taken care of, ( another failure by USA Rugby as an org.)

  • Guest (Okay)

    In reply to: Guest (USARugbynot)
  • Guest (Dudley Do-Right)

    In reply to: Guest (Okay)

    Samu's criminal record keeps him out of Canada based on what they call being criminally inadmissible. Canada's policies on criminal record is strict, any convictions no matter how minor or how long ago makes anyone inadmissible. It is possible to overcome the inadmissibility by submitting an application for "rehabilitation", which takes time and requires numerous references to prove that you are in fact rehabilitated and that further offenses are unlikely.

    This is where USA Rugby has failed unless Samu has some real nasty stuff on his criminal record. Surely months ago when the Canada fixture was set USA Rugby could have begun the application for rehabilitation process. Being a pro athlete with references from people like the USA Rugby CEO and Chairman would be sufficient. The question is did USA Rugby do any of these things or was the Eagles Team Manager blindsided by this issue the week before the test? Did Samu not tell anyone so he could get back to his club and go where his bread is buttered? Is there any rugby journalist that could uncover these answers? The last question I can answer. No!

    If you are wondering why the UK lets Samu in with a work visa, the United Kingdom has a concept of "spent" conviction and immigration officers wishing to exclude or remove someone on the basis of criminal conviction must prove that the offense is not "spent" and therefore the person is not rehabilitated. A conviction is "spent" if more than 10 years has passed since imprisonment (if any) between 6 and 30 months. Any imprisonment over 30 month cannot ever be spent and therefore will always count against you. Imprisonment of less than 6 months or fines have an even shorter rehabilitation period (around 5 years or less).

  • Guest (Mark)

    -Fry will fall on his face in 1/3 of the scrums and will be sucking air at about the 30 min mark.
    -Biller and Pittman will have good games but will not be able to overcome Fry in the front row.
    -Stanfill and Doyal have been good in the lineout in th past...hope springs.
    -LaValla, Dahl and Clever will soldier on and play hard, make tackles, pehaps even win a ball or two in the ruck but will not be able to win the game at the breakdown.
    -Petre will box kick the ball away at least six times giving Canada more attacking opportunity.
    -L'Estrange...Better than Malifa, better than Ronald Suniula...but not enough international playing time. He will not be a factor.
    -Andrew Suniula will grubber kick the ball inside the 22 and piss away every attacking opportunity that comes his way.
    -Wyles at center. Wow this may work if he can get the ball from A.S. He will play well, he always does. I look for about a 70% kicking game from him.
    -Zee will be double teamed and not have any open field opportunity.
    -Hume will play hard and with passion not enough speed. Should play #9