Eddie O’Sullivan and his staff have named the 28 man squad that will travel to Europe for the Eagles’ November tour. The squad is both experienced and considerably young. With the 2011 Rugby World Cup less than a year away, the Tour will be a prime opportunity for O’Sullivan to evaluate the players he will bring to New Zealand for the World Cup.
Seventeen of the men named to the squad are professional rugby players and have been training in full-time, high-performance environments.
Of the 11 non-professional players, ten travelled to Argentina with the USA Select XV last month for the Americas Rugby Championship (ARC), so they are familiar with O’Sullivan’s systems on attack and defense. Chris Biller, Nic Johnson, Samu Manoa, Phil Thiel, Tai Enosa, Nese Malifa, Andrew Suniula, Alipate Tulievuka, Zack Test, and Eric Fry all played in the ARC.
Eagles captain Todd Clever, Kevin Swiryn and Hayden Smith will rejoin the squad after missing the team’s most recent assembly, the 2010 Churchill Cup, due to injury. Clever has been in great form recently playing for the Tokyo-based club Suntory. Kevin Swiryn, Louis Stanfill, Chris Wyles, Mike MacDonald and Takudzwa Ngwenya and Shawn Pittman have also been standouts in various European leagues such as the Top 14 and Aviva Premiership.
This Eagles Assembly will be the first for Seta Tuilevuka (brother of Alipate).
The Eagles will play Saracens, Scotland ‘A’, Portugal, and Georgia on the Tour. The Portugal and Georgia fixtures will be International Rugby Board (iRB) ranking tests, which means that the Eagles’ performance may change their world ranking.
Chris Wyles and Hayden Smith will sit-out as the Eagles open their tour against Saracens on November 9. Both Wyles and Smith play professionally for Saracens.
Inaki Basauri (L’aquila), Chris Biller (San Francisco Golden Gate), Todd Clever (Suntory), Eric Fry (Unattached), JJ Gaganio (Eastern Province), Nic Johnson (Denver Barbarians), Scott LaValla (Dublin University), Mike MacDonald (Leeds Carnegie), Samu Manoa (San Francisco Golden Gate), Mate Moeakiola (Albi), Shawn Pittman (London Welsh), Hayden Smith (Saracens), Louis Stanfill (Mogliano), Phil Thiel (Life University), John van der Geissen (Bath)
Backs: Tai Enosa (Belmont Shore), Paul Emerick (Ulster), Colin Hawley (Unattached), Nese Malifa (Glendale), Takudzwa Ngwenya (Biarritz), Mike Petri (Sale), Andrew Suniula (Chicago Griffins), Kevin Swiryn (Agen), Zack Test (Loughborough University), Alipate Tulievuka (Old Puget Sound Beach), Sete Tulievuka (Montpellier),Tim Usasz (Nottingham), Chris Wyles (Saracens)
Unavailable due to injury: Will Johnson (hand)
|USA v. Saracens||November 9, 2010||3:00 PM||Honourable Company's Artillery Garden (London)|
|USA v. Portugal||November 13, 2010||7:30 PM||University Stadium (Lisbon, Portugal)|
|USA v. Scotland 'A'||November 19, 2010||7:30 PM||Netherdale Stadium (Galashiels, Scotland)|
|USA v. Georgia||November 27, 2010||TBD||National Stadium (Tblisi, Georgia)|