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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Five Eagles That Missed Out On RWC Selection

For the 31 players on the Eagles World Cup roster there are few better feelings than knowing you area about to achieve a life goal. At the same time, there are a number of players that have been pushing for a spot on the team that missed out. We highlight five players that we think were right there but didn't make the cut.

Todd Clever

This conversation can't really begin without a mention of Todd Clever. His dismissal from the Eagles during the Pacific Nations Cup and the omission from the RWC has some fans extremely upset. We know that Clever missed some team meetings but that is pretty much it. There is a lot out there on the internet but nothing confirmed.

Take the jump to read more.

Junior All-Americans Holding First 7s Camp

The Men's Junior All-Americans are holding their first official 7s specific camp this week in conjunction with Eagles 7s camp at the OTC. Under the direction of head coach and Tiger Rugby director Paul Holmes players from the East Coast, Midwest, and West Coast are all represented.

Lindenwood leads the way with four players earning spots in the camp with Utah Valley, Life, and Wheeling Jesuit each contributing a player. William Fifita comes from the high school ranks while Austin Taefu plays club rugby for Tempe.

Squad: Malon Al-Jiboori (Lindenwood), Ian Crilly (Arizona), William Fifita (Rangeview High School), Travis Heer (Lindenwood), Kyle Makaiwi (Utah Valley), Deion Mikesell (Lindenwood), Conner Mooneyham (Life), Cecil Rich (Wheeling Jesuit), Cristian Rodriguez (Lindenwood), Austin Taefu (Tempe), and Dane Weeks.

Eagles 7s Season Opening Camp Roster Unveiled

Most of America's rugby attention is focused on the 15s teams at the moment as they get ready for the World Cup and Australia this Saturday, but down in San Diego the Eagles 7s are assembling for the first time this season. Missing are 15s players Folau Niua, Andrew Durutalo, Danny Barrett, Zack Test, and Brett Thompson but the rest of the core team remains and will be put through the paces by head coach Mike Friday and staff.

Returning players from last year include Perry Baker, Garrett Bender, Pat Blair, Nic Edwards, Madison Hughes, Martin Iosefo, Carlin Isles, Steve Tomasin, and Make Unufe. Of those players Baker, Bender, Hughes, Isles, and Unufe were key contributors throughout the year with others like Iosefo and Blair also made multiple appearances. UPDATE: Matai Leuta is still with the team and is in the camp. He was omitted from the original U.S.A. Rugby roster.

Take the jump to read more.

ATAVUS Announces Washington and Ohio State as First Tackle Plan Partners

Press Release

SEATTLE (September 2, 2015) – Launched in 2015 to improve the efficiency and safety of the tackle, ATAVUS Football today announced the Pac 12’s Washington Huskies and the defending national champions Ohio State University Buckeyes are its first collegiate program partners. Working onsite and through remote assessment with coaches from each school, ATAVUS is developing specific Tackle Plans for the Buckeyes and Huskies comprised of five core drill types; periodization across off-season, pre-season and in-season; sequencing of and time allotments for the drill types; and analysis of teams' tackling programs over time. Along with these leading NCAA Division I programs, ATAVUS also announces its partnership with the Lakeside (WA) High School and the Bellevue (WA) Junior Wolverine Football teams.

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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:

The reaction is flowing in from the Eagles World Cup squad announcement. Here is a look at some of the reaction from the players on social media.

We breakdown the squad based on experience, club, age, caps, and more.

Greg Peterson, who grew up in Australia, explains how American he is.

The Chicago Rucks blog checks in with the team from their training session. 

Americas Rugby News has their list of Americas players not going to the World Cup. Nick Wallace and Todd Clever make the list.

Take the jump to read more.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Stats & Notes On the U.S. RWC Selections

The Eagles World Cup squad is out and we thought we'd break down the squad according to different areas. The first thing that stands out is the divide between the backs and the forwards. The team is taking six props to the tournament which pushes the total number of forwards to 18 leaving only 13 backs. It's not unusual for teams to carry more forwards than backs and this year World Rugby even pushed the total number players on the roster to 31 just for that reason. Still, it's clear that the Eagles coaching staff feels like they can shift people around in the backs and that the forwards are more at risk of breaking down.

In terms of where the players play, just a little short of half (13 of 31) of the team plays their rugby overseas. Five players--Thretton Palamo, Eric Fry, Titi Lamositele, Hayden Smith, and Chris Wyles--play in England. Greg Peterson plays in Scotland while Cam Dolan and Blaine Scully are teammates at Cardiff. The team also has a strong French contingent with four players--Mate Moeakiola, Taku Ngwenya, Samu Manoa, and Scott LaValla--on the roster. Andrew Suniula plays in Romania. In total all three major competitions in Europe are represented along with the RFU Championship, Pro D2, and Federale 1.

Take the jump to read more.

Eagles Players, Rugby Community React To RWC Squad

The Eagles Rugby World Cup squad is out and fans and players alike are excited. Here is just a sampling on what the players and some clubs have been saying.

Take the jump to read more.