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Friday, March 24, 2017

30 Tickets To Japan: Center, Wing, & Fullback


Our latest edition of 30 Tickets to Japan is out. Yesterday we looked at prop and hooker, as well as lock and back-row, and earlier today w looked at flyhalf and scrumhalf. Now we fill out the rest of the roster. For those that aren't aware this is an series of pieces that predicts who would be on the Eagles roster at the World Cup if it started today (there are actually 31 spots with an extra spot for a front-row player). Almost certainly things will change between now and 2019 and you can bet that some new players are going to come out of the woodwork and state their case.

Center Pool: Folau Niua, Thretton Palamo, Bryce Campbell, Martin Iosefo, JP Eloff, Marcel Brache, Calvin Whiting, Lemoto Filikitonga, Ahmad Harajly, Chad London, Dylan Audsley, Tanner Barnes, Lorenzo Thomas

The centers are going to be interesting. Outside of a few players not many have put their hand definitely forward to make head coach John Mitchell's job easier. Things have also changed at center from where things were a year ago. Mitchell wants a playmaking 12 and even played AJ MacGinty at the spot against Uruguay earlier in the year. With that in mind that could open things up for a few players while limiting them for others.

Take the jump to read more.

30 Tickets To Japan: Flyhalf & Scrumhalf

Photo: Connie Hatfield

Our latest edition of 30 Tickets to Japan is out. Yesterday we looked at prop and hooker, as well as lock and back-row, and now we look at flyhalf and scrumhalf. For those that aren't aware this is an series of pieces that predicts who would be on the Eagles roster at the World Cup if it started today (there are actually 31 spots with an extra spot for a front-row player). Almost certainly things will change between now and 2019 and you can bet that some new players are going to come out of the woodwork and state their case.

Scrumhalf Pool: Nate Augspurger, Shaun Davies, Charlie Purdon, Madison Hughes, Chris Saint, Shalom Suniula, Steve Tomasin, Tom Bliss, Nick Boyer

Scrumhalf may be one the most open position on the roster. As we saw last summer, during the November tests, and then again during the ARC head coach John Mitchell hasn't settled on a starter. He's oscillated between Nate Augspurger, Sean Davies, Tom Bliss, and Steve Tomasin during that time. The ARC saw Augspurger and Davis swap. Bliss is injured and not likely to play soon while Tomasin has been involved in 7s but should be involved in the summer. Outside of that you have the likes of Charlie Purdon, Madison Hughes, Chris Saint, or Shalom Suniula.

Take the jump to read more.

Eagles Abroad: Weekend Preview


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Things are back in full swing for Americans overseas. In Europe all of the competition are back and there are plenty of Americans involved. Blaine Scully will not only start on the wing for Cardiff but he'll captain the team as they play Leinster. That's a big honor for the Eagles captain. Other players to get starting nobs in the British Isles include Joe Taufete'e for Worcester and AJ MacGinty for Sale. Taufete'e of course signed a new deal with Worcester this week. For MacGinty it's a great sign that he starts once again. Also involved in the Premiership is Titi Lamositele who is on the bench for the Saracens. Over in France, David Tameilau continues to get more time and it could be a strong weekend for Samu Manoa and Taku Ngwenya.

In the Southern Hemisphere, Marcel Brache saw his first action for the Western Force going the full 80 minutes in their loss to the Crusaders. Also, just a note some players in the Southern Hemisphere. We're trying to work out who is playing for who in some of the lower competitions so if things are in flux the next few weeks you know why.

Take the jump to read more.

Weekend Television Listings


The Six Nations may be over but that just means the return to full play in the big three in Europe. The Top 14 will once again be on ESPN3/WatchESPN while a trio of Premiership matches returns to NBCSN. As always the Pro12 is on The Rugby Channel. If those leagues aren't your thing then once again Super Rugby is available. On the domestic front the huge match between Cal and St. Mary's will be available as will Army-Navy.

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

Friday:
  • Bristol vs. Gloucester, 3:30 p.m. et/12:30 p.m. pt (live on NBCSN)
Take the jump to read more.

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

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National Teams/ODAs:

The Eagles have been named for their upcoming Can-Am Series in San Diego. Jackie Finlan has more on invitee Annakaren Pedraza.

Joe Taufete'e recently talked about signing a new contract with Worcester.

We have a new set of 30 Tickets to Japan articles. Yesterday we looked at prop and hooker as well as lock and back-row.

World Rugby says that the Eagles are taking off under John Mitchell.

Take the jump to read more.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

30 Tickets To Japan: Lock & Back-row


Our latest edition of 30 Tickets to Japan is out. Earlier today we looked at prop and hooker and now we look at lock and back-row. For those that aren't aware this is an series of pieces that predicts who would be on the Eagles roster at the World Cup if it started today (there are actually 31 spots with an extra spot for a front-row player). Almost certainly things will change between now and 2019 and you can bet that some new players are going to come out of the woodwork and state their case.

Lock Pool: Samu Manoa, Greg Peterson, Nick Civetta, Nate Brakeley, Matt Jensen, Siaosi Mahoni, James King, Ben Landry, Christian Ostberg, Cam Dolan, David Tameilau, Todd Clever

Lock is complicated. After not having many options a year ago head coach John Mitchell has a lot of options now. Nick Civetta and Nate Brakeley were the obvious favorites during the ARC and they've developed quite a rapport with one another. However, they may not even be starters when Mitchell has his first team. Why? You have Samu Manoa and Greg Peterson. When healthy and available it is extremely hard to not see either Manoa or Peterson start. They both have so much experience and the little tools needed by any team. Still, if you are Mitchell it is awesome to know that have Civetta and Brakeley on the bench or could reliably start either one if needed.

Take the jump to read more.

Eagles Named For Can-Am Series

Photo: Connie Hatfield

Head coach Peter Steinberg has picked his team for the upcoming Can-Am series. Overall, he keeps the core group of players he's used over the last year with a few new players earning selection. What is maybe most notable is that injuries to Hope Rogers and Kimber Rozier mean that the team is going to have to find depth at two key positions. That is big as the Can-Am series so far is their biggest test ahead of the World Cup so being able to test out some players under good competition is only going to benefit the team. Other returning players include a number of 7s players, including Alev Kelter, Nana Fa'avesi, and Kelly Griffin.

"We are excited to host our northern neighbors, and hope that the San Diego rugby community will be able to support the Women's Eagles and come out and watch the team play one of the top teams in the world," said Steinberg in a U.S.A. Rugby press release. "This is the first chance we have had this cycle to bring all the players together, and I think we have the opportunity to do something special in Ireland."

Take the jump to read more.