Monday, September 1, 2014

Rib Injury Keeping LaValla Out

After appearing off the bench for Stade Francais in their first match of the season Scott LaValla has been absent from the team sheet. Now we know why. LaValla has a small tear in the muscle between a couple of ribs keeping him out of the line-up. It's unclear how long the injury will keep him out but so far it doesn't look like he will be out of the Eagles November tour. That may change if he continues to miss time for Stade. The Parisians could have used his help this last week after they picked up an embarrassing loss to Oyonnax.  LaValla is entering his fourth year with Stade Francais. So far he has made 50 total appearances for the team starting exactly half of those.

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National Teams:

Phil Thiel has joined Saracens on a one-month deal with an eye to a long-term contract. He makes the fifth American at the club.

Last Friday we took at look at what kind of team the Eagles might take to the ARC next month.

Former Junior All-American and current Wasps scrumhalf Tom Bliss was the subject of a feature in The Rugby Paper.

College All-American Ben Landry has signed on with Premier Rugby Management.

Take the jump to read more.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Rugby In The NFL: Ebner, Bademosi Survive The Cut

Johnson Bademosi

Nate Ebner and Johnson Bademosi, two players with strong rugby ties, have survived the cut in the NFL with their respective teams. Ebner, who played for several U.S. age-grade teams as well as Ohio State, picked up football late joining the Buckeyes as a walk on. Despite not being a main focus for the team his athleticism was enough to see him drafted by the New England Patriots. He is entering his third season with the team. Even though he survived the cut he still may be turned loose later in the season as other players return to healthy. The Patriots apparently have several players at the safety position that could push Ebner out.

Bademosi also represented the U.S. at the age-grade level as well as starring for Gonzaga in Washington, D.C. His position with the Cleveland Browns was more tenuous heading into cut day but  he also returns for his third season with the team. His play on special teams was apparently the difference in his staying on the team. Bademosi played collegiately at Stanford.

Take the jump to read more.

Thiel Joining Saracens On Trial

Phil Thiel has joined Saracens on a four week trial with an eye to joining the team on a long-term contract. He makes the fifth U.S. player at the club joining Chris Wyles, Hayden Smith, Titi Lamositele, and Thretton Palamo. It's likely that he'll see time with the Saracens in the Aviva 'A' League alongside Lamositele and Palamo. The 'A' League plays their matches in the fall and gives players and opportunity to push for time on the first team. In the past players like Blaine Scully have earned full contracts based on their play early in the season.

In a press release from Premier Rugby Management, Thiel's agency, he expressed: “I’m really excited for the opportunity to train with a world class organization like Saracens, I’m especially looking forward to joining my fellow Eagles in London and grateful for the support they’ve already shown me as I join the team.”

Take the jump to read more.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Stars, Tiger Rugby Learn Pools For Central Coast 7s

Tiger Rugby and the up and coming Stars 7s will be headed to the Central Coast 7s in October and today they learned their pools for the tournament. Tiger Rugby have been drawn into Pool C at the tournament with Fijian side Yamacia, Brazil, and Brisbane-based Sunnybank. Yamacia are a well known Fijian team that should give Tiger difficulty. Brazil have entered their national team with the aim of getting as much experience as possible ahead of the Olympics. Lastly, Sunnybank are an Australian 7s powerhouse that will be playing close to home. All in all it's a tough group for Tiger but one in which they can play well.

When we last talked with Tiger Rugby's James Walker he indicated that he will be taking another strong team to the tournament. He and coach Paul Holmes have been in Kenya participating in clinics and soaking up more sevens knowledge.

Take the jump to read more.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Who Might Make The Eagles ARC Team?

The next big event on the Eagles calendar is the Americas Rugby Championship in Victoria, British Columbia in October. In the short history of the tournament the U.S. has taken young, experimental teams (see 2012) and somewhat more experienced teams (2013) with varying results. So what kind of team is head coach Mike Tolkin taking to the tournament?

The squad has yet to be announced but from what we've been able to gather the team should be full of experience. There are only so many games remaining before the World Cup and the lack of high-level playing time is a concern for Tolkin. The American Rugby Premiership kicks off in the fall and even has four matches before the ARC but other parts of the country won't have played many matches. Players in serious World Cup contention need playing time and the ARC provides it.

Take the jump to read more.

College All-American Ben Landry Signs With PRM

Press Release

Premier Rugby Management (PRM) the nation’s first sports management agency dedicated to the sport of rugby, today announced the signing of Ben Landry to a representation agreement.

The 6’ 5”, 245 pound Lock was a two-time USA Rugby Men’s Collegiate All-American (MCAA) at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, and was the only Division II player on the MCAA roster. During the most recent All-American tour, he helped lead the squad to two wins over Cambridge University and in 2013 he joined the All-American tour of New Zealand. He currently plays his club rugby with Milwaukee Barbarians. In addition to collegiate rugby, Landry played college football and basketball for UW-Madison and UW-Whitewater respectively. Prior to college, Landry was a two-time Junior All American and has been playing rugby since the age of twelve.

Take the jump to read more.