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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Newcastle Ink Eagle Paul Mullen

The list of players who played for the Eagles and in Major League Rugby last year and have now made the move overseas is growing. Paul Mullen is the latest player having signed a four month deal with the Newcastle Falcons. He joins Paul Lasike, Bryce Campbell, and Ben Landry in having made the move to England. Mullen played for the Eagles in the summer and for the Houston SaberCats last season. He was raised in Ireland and played for Munster at the U-20 level.

In a press release from the Falcons Mullen said: "I am delighted to be joining Newcastle and am looking forward to developing my game further alongside a great squad." Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards said in the same release: "Paul has broken through to the full international scene in quite a big way over the past few months, and been part of a rapidly-improving American Eagles side. His presence will further bolster our front-row resources going into the new Gallagher Premiership season as we look to improve yet again on what was our best league finish for 20 years."

Monday, August 13, 2018

O'Reilly Memorial Scholarship Open

Press Release

In 2016, the USRF introduced the Terry O'Reilly Memorial Scholarship, awarded to a deserving high school senior rugby player who goes on to play rugby in college. Cal freshman, Owen Duvall, was the first recipient of the $2,500 Terry O'Reilly Memorial Scholarship. Last year's recipient was UC Santa Barbara's Justin Petersen. The USRF is now accepting applications for the 2018 Terry O'Reilly Memorial Scholarship. Applications for consideration must be postmarked bySeptember 30, 2018.

These independent scholarships are open to all graduating high school rugby players in the U.S. who will be pursuing their rugby career while continuing their education at the collegiate level.

Terry O'Reilly was a passionate rugby player and supporter throughout his life. Born in Farnborough, England, he played for St. Anselm's College in Birkenhead before he emigrated to America when he was 16. Growing up in Los Angeles, he continued to play rugby for Loyola Marymount. Spurning a career in television to continue his on-field play, he chose a legal career through a stint at Boalt Law School at Berkeley, where he played rugby for Cal. Following law school, he continued to play for several club teams, including the Bay Area Touring Side (“BATS”), the Old Blues of Berkeley, and the San Jose Silverhawks.

Take the jump to read more.

St. Pierre Named BYU Head Coach

Steve St. Pierre is going to have some big shoes to fill. In the aftermath of former head coach David Smyth and his coaching staff leaving the program citing differences with the administration former BYU player Steve St. Pierre has stepped up to lead the Cougars. He was previously an assistant coach. St. Pierre was a key player during some of the BYU's strongest seasons and has been active in Utah ever since.

“Steve is a great representative of the type of young men the BYU Rugby program has produced over the years,” said assistant dean of students Jim Slaughter, who oversees the BYU Extramural Program in a press release. “We look forward to the future of BYU Rugby and express deep gratitude for our former coaches and their invaluable contributions to the building of this program.”

“The BYU rugby team is a program that has had a huge impact on my life,” Coach St. Pierre said in the same release. “I am grateful and excited for the opportunity to continue the great work that has been done by the previous coaching staff and to start working with the players towards a successful season.”

Bulldog, Surfers Win Club 7s Nationals

Press Release

In a day of electrifying speed, unbearable tension and gutsy performances, Bulldog Rugby and the San Diego Surfers go through their competition to win the 2018 USA Rugby Emirates Airline Club 7s National Championships. This was Bulldog's first National Championship, while it was the third for the San Diego Surfers.

Men's Cup:

Heading into Sunday's fixtures there was a sense of intrigue, as Saturday's results had provided more questions than answers. Teams came into the Cup playoffs each with a sense of belief that they could make it to the championship game. For Bulldog, there would be tests early and often, but if they knew beyond the quarterfinals lay a very real shot at the Championship.

In the quarterfinals they met Dallas Rugby, a team many predicted to win it all; however, Bulldog had other ideas. Shooting out of the gate early and establishing a solid fifteen-point lead was enough to see them through. It became a reoccurring theme through the day as they again opened a fifteen-point lead in their semifinal match and road it home against Mystic River. 22-7 and 15-7 were their respective results.

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Mike Sosene Joins Auckland For Mitre 10 Cup

There will be one more American playing in the Mitre 10 Cup. In addition to Tony Lamborn at Southland Mike Sosene (aka Mike Sosene-Feagai) will be playing for Auckland in the upcoming season. The hooker previously played for the Eagles in the Americas Rugby Championship in 2016 playing in all five games and starting twice. After that he played with the San Diego Breakers in PRO Rugby where he made eleven appearances with six starts. He has previously played for Hawke's Bay in the Mitre 10 Cup.

If he can get a good run of games it could put him back in the Eagles picture. That said, it is going to take something big for him to do that. He would have to be a star for Auckland. Joe Taufete'e is entrenched as the number one option for the U.S. at the moment and then you have the likes of James Hilterbrand, Dylan Fawsitt, and Peter Malcolm all in the picture. 

Friday, August 10, 2018

Roster Set For Youth Olympics

Press Release

USA Rugby has officially named 12 athletes to the 2018 U.S. Youth Olympic Men's Rugby Team and two non-traveling reserves for the Summer Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018, pending approval by the United States Olympic Committee. Led by Head Coach JD Stephenson, the organization will strive for a convincing performance in the second-ever inclusion of rugby sevens at the Youth Olympic Games.

The Games will kick off on Oct. 6 following the Opening Ceremony with pool play competition for rugby sevens beginning Oct. 13 at 11 AM ET. Medals will be awarded on Oct. 15 with broadcast information and a full schedule confirmed closer to date. Updates will also be available by following @USARugby on Twitter.

After naming an extended squad of 16 athletes, Stephenson and his staff spent time evaluating players' performances after the recent Can-Am Futures Sevens tournament.

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Club 7s Preview & Predictions

One of the best things annually about the Club 7s Nationals is that it can be very unpredictable. That may make providing accurate predictions difficult but at the same time it raises the level of excitement around the tournament. This year should be no different. There are certainly favorites on both the men's and women's side of things but at the same time you can bet that there is going to be a surprise or two in store.

The tournament kicks off tomorrow (Saturday) with pool play. It will be streamed on FloRugby beginning at 10:00 a.m. et/7:00 a.m. pt.

Pool A: Denver Barbarians, Mystic River, Atlanta Old White, Belmont Shore Gold

Let's start with a team that might be a surprise: Atlanta Old White. They have put together some decent tournaments in the past and if things go their way early they could gain a lot of momentum. That said, they will be up against it with some very strong teams. The Denver Barbarians are always one of the teams to beat and this year will be lead by the likes of Mikey Bateman and Michael Al-Jiboori. We think the Barbarians advance along with Mystic River. Having seen their fair share of success at the 15s level Mystic River has the players to be a big factor. Plus, they are playing close to home. We think it will be between them and Belmont Shore Gold for one of the top two spots with Mystic River taking it.

Take the jump to read more.