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Friday, December 15, 2017

Taylor Howden Joins NOLA Gold

NOLA Gold have added another name from the former Ohio Aviators. The team has signed Taylor Howden for the upcoming season. Originally from New Zealand Howden has been an underrated star in American rugby. He was a key player for the Aviators and has been a key part of Columbus in their strong DI play the last few years. He can play flyhalf and a number of other positions on the field. He can also kick.

Eagles Abroad: Weekend Review

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Europe is once again the focus for most Americans overseas and once again it's a mixed bag. In the European Champions Cup Chris Wyles and Samu Manoa are the only capped Eagles to start. Saracens will hope for a much better performance this week. Samu Manoa will start at lock once again for Toulon. Chris Baumann is on the bench once again for Leicester as they play Munster. Non-capped American Callum Black will start for Ulster. In the Challenge Cup, Joe Taufete'e and Andrew Durutalo will start for Worcester as they look to beat Oyonnax. Elsewhere it is pretty bare. No Americans are in the line-up for teams in the British & Irish Cup and the All Ireland League is on winter break. However, the one big piece of news is Christian Ostberg is getting his first start of the season for Aurillac.

Take the jump to read more.

Weekend Television Listings

Not as many offerings this weekend with the Sevens Series off until the new year. However, there are three European matches available.   

If you know of an event or a tournament that is not on our list, please share it with us at thisisamericanrugby@gmail.com.

  • Bath vs. Toulon, 12:30 p.m. et/9:30 a.m. pt (live on ESPN3/WatchESPN)
  • Wasps vs. La Rochelle, 8:00 a.m. et/5:00 a.m. pt (live on ESPN3/WatchESPN) 
  • Cardiff vs. Sale, 10:15 a.m. et/7:15 a.m. pt (live on ESPN3/WatchESPN)

Opening Kick

Opening Kick is a segment devoted to bringing you all Eagles and U.S.A. Rugby news in one location. It is brought to you everyday by Rugby Marketplace, your independent rugby store

National Teams/MLR/ODAs:

The U.S. has been confirmed to once again play in the Sudamerica 7s.

Chris Wyles says Saracens need to be focused against Clermont this week.

The Capital Selects have named their team to take on MLR competition.

The Ontario Arrows have named their spring schedule while New York has put down an MLR deposit.

Seattle has signed local products Louie Henson and Dion Crowder. While Utah has added Josh Whippy, Pio Vatuvei, Matt Jensen, and Jackson Kaka.

Take the jump to read more.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Utah Adds Josh Whippy

Photo: Davey Wilson
Press Release

The Utah Warriors are proud to announce the signing of former BYU star and All-American Joshua Whippy.

“I’m just really grateful for this opportunity. It’s not everyday that you get to be a part of building a brand new professional team. It’s very exciting!” said Whippy. “Major League Rugby is doing some big things and I’m excited to develop my talents by competing against the best players in America. I’ve been fortunate to have success at United, BYU and with the Utah Select 7s, but this opportunity to represent Utah as a professional is something I’ve been looking forward to”.

Whippy grew up in Fiji, and moved to New Zealand to play both basketball and rugby at Rangitoto College, and Church College of New Zealand. In his senior year, Josh spent a season in Utah with United, helping them win their first National Championship beating Highland in 2010.

Take the jump to read more.

Seattle Sign Local Product Henson

Press Release

The Seattle Seawolves are thrilled to announce the signing of Western Men’s Rugby alumni, Louie Henson. Born and raised in Auburn, Washington, Henson has demonstrated his commitment to rugby in the Northwest throughout his athletic career. “It is fantastic to have so many local guys like Louie on the Seattle Seawolves team.” said Head Coach Tony Healy on the addition to the squad. “Major League Rugby will provide a good challenge for Louie, I am looking forward to watching him take on his competitors.”

Henson officially began his rugby career in 2010 with the Rainier Highlanders while competing as a football player for Auburn High School. His exposure to the sport came much earlier; his father was one of the founding members of Bellingham based club Chuckanut Bay RFC and is a Western Rugby alumnus. Having been immersed in rugby his entire life, he quickly fell in love with the sport and decided to continue playing at the same school his father attended with Western Washington University (WWU).

Take the jump to read more.

Another BYU Alum Joins The Warriors

Photo: Davey Wilson
Press Release

The Utah Warriors sign former BYU All-American and USA Selects Flanker Jackson Kaka.

“I can’t wait to get on the field with my Warriors brothers and do battle,” said Kaka. “Coach Daniels is someone who is highly respected in my hometown so it’ll be great to learn from a man like him. I’ve lived and gone to school here in Utah for a while now, it’s where my wife is from so I’m grateful to stay here and keep growing on and off the field. Being involved with a lot of the boys this summer in the Rugby Utah Selects 7s was an awesome experience to unite the BYU, Utah and local club players. We made people take notice of the Utah rugby scene and we look to do that again in Major League Rugby.”

Kaka is originally from Hamilton New Zealand but also lived in Australia before moving to Hawaii as a teenager. Kaka didn’t play any organized rugby growing up, but took an interest in both basketball and Football, lettering in both sports while at Kahuku High School. Kaka played tight end for the Red Raiders and went to New Mexico State on scholarship. After one season, Kaka returned to New Zealand to serve an LDS mission. Post-mission, Kaka transferred to BYU and spent a year with the Cougars’ football team playing in four games, but suffered a season-ending injury.

Take the jump to read more.