Pacific Nations Cup offers opportunity for Eagles

Pacific Nations Cup offers opportunity for Eagles

BOULDER, Colo. – The USA Rugby Men’s Eagles will take on Canada for the 49th time since 1977 Saturday, May 25, in the opening match of the IRB Pacific Nations Cup. The match starts at 2:00 P.M. MT and can be watched live on the International Rugby Board’s official website.

The Eagles are coming off of their first test series win on their 2012 Fall Tour and are starting their 2013 schedule, which sees them playing seven full tests before the end of August.

Canada holds the edge against the Eagles with 35 wins and won the last meeting between the two rivals—a 28-25 nail-biter in Kingston, Canada, last June—and has won the last four meetings.

The Eagles and Canada are included in the IRB Pacific Nations Cup for the first time this year, adding to the competitive list of teams in Fiji, Japan and Tonga. The Eagles will host Tonga at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., June 14 (purchase tickets here) before traveling to Japan for their matches against Fiji June 19 and Japan June 23.

“We would like to win this tournament and a win against Canada would obviously set us off in the right direction,” Men’s Eagles Head Coach Mike Tolkin said. “You don’t need a whole lot of fuel to get the fire going against Canada; it’s our local derby.”

The two North American giants were added to the IRB Pacific Nations Cup on a permanent basis this year to help boost the Tier Two nations’ schedules with higher-quality rugby ahead of the qualifying stages for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

“This tournament enables us to play teams around our level and I’m sure it’ll be very competitive,” Tolkin said. “About a year-and-a-half ago, we met with the IRB and said that we needed more competitive matches to keep developing and they came good with this tournament. It is a massive step forward for us.”

Though the Eagles will be without such international stars as Scott LaValla, Chris Wyles and Takudza Ngwenya, the roster is filled with both veteran talent and young blood. Old Blue’s Adam Siddall will make his Eagles debut Saturday as starting full-back, while captain Todd Clever will earn his 47th Test cap and 26th cap as captain.

The Eagles are currently 16th in the IRB World Rankings, two spots behind Canada. Fiji (13th), Japan (15th) and Tonga (11th) are all ranked ahead of the Eagles, as well.

Men’s Eagles | Pacific Nations Cup vs. Canada

1. Shawn Pittman
2. Zach Fenoglio
3. Eric Fry
4. Brian Doyle
5. Louis Stanfill
6. John Quill
7. Peter Dahl
8. Todd Clever
9. Robbie Shaw
10. Toby L’Estrange
11. James Paterson
12. Andrew Suniula
13. Troy Hall
14. Luke Hume
15. Adam Siddall
16. Tom Coolican
17. Phil Thiel
18. Nick Wallace
19. Graham Harriman
20. Liam Murphy
21. Chris Saint
22. Seamus Kelly
23. Blaine Scully

Men’s Eagles Staff | Pacific Nations Cup vs. Canada
Mike Tolkin - Head Coach
Tristan Lewis - Manager
David Schneider - Doctor
Dan Payne - Assistant Coach
Tony Smeeth - Assistant Coach
Derek Dowling - Assistant Coach
Dave Williams - Strength and Conditioning Coach
Paul Goulding - Video Analyst
Kristen Douhan - Physiotherapist
Zach Vyhnanek - Physiotherapist

Men’s Eagles | Pacific Nations Cup vs. Canada
4:00 P.M. ET Saturday, May 25

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