UPDATE: Scott LaValla has been replaced by Graham Harriman at lock due to injury. John Cullen has been added to the bench. LaValla will remain with the team and be available for the remaining matches against Georgia and Russia during the November Tour.
PHILADELPHIA, Penn. – Men’s Eagles Head Coach Mike Tolkin has selected the 23-man roster for the Black and Blue Match presented by AIG against New Zealand Maori All Blacks at PPL Park Saturday, Nov. 9.
Twenty-six players convened in Philadelphia for the chance to be selected against the Maori All Blacks, including overseas professionals Todd Clever, Scott LaValla and Andrew Suniula.
Clever will captain the Eagles from the blindside flanker position against the visitors from the southern hemisphere. Cameron Dolan, who captained the Eagles Select XV against Argentina in the opening match of the 2013 IRB Americas Rugby Championship in October, will start at number eight.
The Eagles Select XV finished second at the ARC with a 2-1 record and wins against Canada and Uruguay. Nick Wallace, Phillip Thiel and Shawn Pittman return from the ARC at loosehead prop, hooker, and tighthead prop, respectively. Toby L’Estrange, Select XV captain against Canada, gets the start at flyhalf.
At fullback, Adam Siddall is flanked on the wing by Luke Hume and Tim Maupin, who scored two tries in the 30-10 win against Canada.
Former USA Rugby AIG Men’s Collegiate All-American Seamus Kelly will partner Andrew Suniula at center. Another college standout, Kyle Sumsion, will be available on the bench.
Men’s Eagles Sevens’ Folau Niua will also be on the bench and will be available for the other two matches of the November Tour against Georgia and Russia before leaving with the Sevens team to the United Arab Emirates for the Emirates Dubai Rugby Sevens tournament at the end of the month.
The Maori All Blacks defeated Canada 40-15 at BMO Field in Toronto Sunday, Nov. 3. Piri Weepu and Hika Elliot were injured in the match and were forced to return home, but the All Blacks will still field a strong side against the Eagles in a sold-out match at PPL Park.
Olive Kilifi replaced an injured Blake Burdette in Phildalphia and will start on the bench, as will Titi Lamositele – the youngest-ever capped Eagle – and ARC scrumhalf Shaun Davies.
Watch the Black and Blue Match live on FOX Soccer Plus at 7:00 P.M. ET and on delay Sunday, Nov. 10, on FOX Sports 1. Click here to find FOX Sports 1 in your area.
Men's Eagles | v. New Zealand Maori All Blacks
1. Nick Wallace
2. Phil Thiel
3. Shawn Pittman
4. Graham Harriman
5. Tai Tuisamoa
6. Todd Clever(C)
7. Peter Dahl
8. Cameron Dolan
9. Mike Petri
10. Toby L'Estrange
11. Tim Maupin
12. Andrew Suniula
13. Seamus Kelly
14. Luke Hume
15. Adam Siddal