Friday, February 12, 2016

Eagles Abroad: Weekend Preview


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Although it's not the busiest weekend in Europe with France mostly taking time off but it's going to be busy for Americans. In the Premiership all three Americans at Saracens are going to be involved for the club as they play Wasps on Sunday. In the PRO12, AJ MacGinty started for Connacht earlier in the week while both Greg Peterson and Callum Black are set to start as Glasgow plays Ulster.

Two other notes to remind you of this week. Samu Manoa is going to miss at least three months with a knee injury. He's having surgery and could be back for the Top 14 playoffs but he may also miss them. Additionally, Tom Bliss has left Ealing, where he was on loan from Wasps. He's reportedly set to be offered a contract from PRO Rugby.

Take the jump to read more.

Weekend Television Listings

 


If you are a U.S. national team fan you are going to love this weekend's listing. Not only is the Canada vs. U.S. match live on ESPN3/WatchESPN on Saturday but it will be replayed on ESPN2 on Sunday. The Junior All-Americans also have a lot on the line as they face Canada in their JWRT qualifier on Saturday after the ARC match. That one will air on USA Rugby TV. Also available are European league matches, the Six Nations, PRP, and more.     

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:
  • Ulster vs. Glasgow, 2:30 p.m. et/11:30 a.m. pt (live on beIN Sports Connect)
  • Newcastle vs. Leicester, 2:45 p.m. et/11:45 a.m. pt (live on beIN Sports Connect)
  • Uruguay vs. Brazil, 5:00 p.m. et/2:00 p.m. pt (live on ESPN3/WatchESPN)
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Adriaan Ferris Named San Francisco Assistant


The coaching announcements from PRO Rugby continue to pour in as Adriaan Ferris has been appointed as an assistant coach for the San Francisco team. Ferris is currently the head coach of up and coming powerhouse Life West. The Gladiators have stormed through every competition they have played in so far and just put David Tameilau on the Eagles. Ferris will serve as an assistant to head coach Paul Keeler. Prior to joining Life West and San Francisco, Ferris enjoyed coaching stints in New Zealand, including head coach of Northland, and as an assistant to the Tongan National Team.

Here is the release from PRO Rugby:
PRO Rugby is pleased to announce the appointment of Adriaan Ferris as Assistant Coach for the San Francisco team in PRO Rugby’s 2016 inaugural season. Ferris is a native of New Zealand, who graduated from Massey University before embarking on a highly successful coaching career, which has included Northland, Tonga, and a four-year spell as New Zealand U-20 Selector where he worked with future All Blacks. His current role is Athletic Director at Life West.

Eagles Make Changes To Face Canada


Eagles head coach John Mitchell has made a number of changes from the team he put out against Argentina last week for this Saturday's match against Canada. Only Eric Fry, Chris Baumann, Brodie Orth, Todd Clever, David Temeilau, James Bird, Kingsley McGowan, Lemoto Filikitonga, and Chad London keep their places.

Coming into the team and gaining their first caps* are Mike Sosene-Feagai at hooker, Ben Landry at lock, Nate Brakeley at flanker, Mike Te'o at scrumhalf, and Jake Anderson at fullback. Luke Hume, who is no stranger to the team, returns after a long injury absence and will be a solid veteran presence in the back. Many of the changes to the team were forced as most European professionals went back to their clubs.

*Last week's match wasn't a capped match so the likes of Orth, Tameilau, Te'o, Bird, McGowan, Filikitong, and Anderson will all technically gain their first caps this weekend despite playing last weekend.

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

National Teams/PRO Rugby:

Tom Bliss is leaving Ealing and Wasps and is set to be offered a contract with PRO Rugby.

Ray Egan has been picked as an assistant coach for the San Diego PRO Rugby side.

Canada have named their line-up to face the Eagles on Saturday.

Club/College:

Tiger Rugby is trying to reach lesser-served areas with combines in North Carolina and Texas.

This Is Ohio Rugby has more on preseason preparations in Cleveland.

Take the jump to read more.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Six Nations Week 2 Preview


By Henry Best

Week 2 of the Six Nations is upon us, and the participants in Europe's premier competition have politely separated themselves into three distinct categories:  the Winners (England and France), the Losers (Italy and Scotland), and the Inbetweeners (Wales and Ireland).  None of the sides have looked all that impressive except for the Italians, but that is just relative to expectations.  The lack of quality is no surprise this early on, especially right after a World Cup with teams integrating new players and both of the Winners at the outset of new regimes.  Still, the Six Nations insist on producing tons of drama with the promise of more to come this weekend.

Saturday:
Ireland vs. France
Paris, France
9:25am EST

Before all is said and done a lot of us would expect France to be Inbetweeners and Ireland to join the ranks of the winners.  Such was the case last season with France only managing to beat basement dwellers Italy and Scotland.  Despite the win last week the French were one drop-goal from somebody who's paid to kick them (ie. Not Sergio Parisse) away from blowing it at home.  Ireland was perfectly mediocre, neither defeating nor being defeated by the Welsh.  The question here is who can find their rhythm first.  The strong veteran presence of the Irish squad suggests they should sooner or later get on a roll.  Whereas the youth of the French means it should continue to be a hectic ride and a quite enjoyable one for neutrals.

Take the jump to read more.

Bliss Leaves Ealing & Wasps, PRO Rugby Contract Coming


When PRO Rugby was announced it was assumed that the league would be a landing spot for some young capped or U.S.-eligible players looking to get more time than they would in Europe and catch the eye of selectors. Now it looks like the league is close to landing their first player of that mold in Tom Bliss. We have been able to confirm with a source in PRO Rugby that the league is planning on offering Bliss a contract. Additionally, judging by what Bliss's former club Ealing says that move is all but certain. According to the Ealing website Bliss is no longer with the club having joined up with the Eagles Americas Rugby Championship side and then on to PRO Rugby.

Bliss is a young scrumhalf who was on loan to Ealing from the Wasps system. Previously he attended Loughborough University and saw reserve time with London Irish. He saw semi-sporadic time with Wasps, particularly in the LV= Cup, as well as semi-sporadic time with Ealing. He did feature fairly heavily in the 'A' League. He was a standout for the All-Americans at the 2013 Junior World Championship. Whoever lands Bliss is going to get a scrumhalf that has a great shot at the permanent #9 jersey for the Eagles and a player that should be a starter for years.

Take the jump to read more.