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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Eagles Residency Squad Announced

U.S.A. Rugby has announced the list of residency players for both the men's and women's teams for 2014. Overall the men's program will see an increase to 25 players while the women's team will have 18 players.

The core of the 2013 team will return with Carlin Isles, Andrew Durutalo, Nick Edwards, Tai Enosa, Jack Halalilo, Folau Niua, Zach Test, Brett Thompson and Shalom Suniula all set to return. Isles may be the biggest surprise considering he also signed a contract to tryout with the Detroit Lions next season. Garrett Bender returns to the program while other players that saw time at the end of 2013 have also returned, including Pat Blair, Pono Haitsuka, Ryan Matyas, and Steve Tomasin.

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The biggest surprise of the new additions is Madison Hughes, who is sacrificing his on-campus time with Dartmouth to compete. He has been a player that a lot of people have had their eye on and he has even been in Eagles camp before, but it was expected that he would stay in school. Mike Teo is another young player that has been around the team for awhile but hasn't seen much time.

Five WCAP players are on the squad with more possibly to come. Eric Deuchele and Nu'u Punimata are the only two that have been with the team in residency. The other WCAP players are Ben Leatigaga, Andrew Locke, and Marcus Satavu.

Rounding out the list of residency players are Ben Nicholls, Danny Barrett, Chris Turori, and Mike Ziegler. Barrett has a lot of promise and could immediately make an impact on the team. He's big, strong, and has a nice resume. Ziegler has been impressive with Tiger Rugby but wasn't so much on the NACRA and Fiji tour with the Falcons. However, he has a lot of upside.

As always, these contracts could change throughout the year with either more players added and some players leaving. The contracts have performance incentives built in and are at different levels. Even though a player may be a part of the residency squad that doesn't mean they are getting the full stipend. Expect to see almost all of these players involved in Las Vegas in some fashion.

Residency Squad: Danny Barrett, Garrett Bender, Pat Blair, Carlin Isles, Eric Duechele, Andrew Durutalo, Nick Edwards, Tai Enosa, Pono Haitsuka, Jack Halalilo, Madison Hughes, Ben Leatigaga, Andrew Locke, Ryan Matyas, Ben Nicholls, Folau Niua, Nu'u Punimata, Marcus Satavu, Shalom Suniula, Mike Teo, Zack Test, Brett Thompson, Steve Tomasin, Chris Turori, Mike Ziegler

The U.S. women have also named their residency squad. Earlier this week we learned that long-time stalwart Vanesha McGee would not be back with the team but there have also been a number of other changes from last year. The team is distinctively younger with several recent college graduates dotting the roster. That is not always a detriment as some of those players have been a part of the squad before. Emilie Bydwell, Ryan Carlyle, Laure Doyle, Vix Folayan, Kelly Griffin, Jillion Potter, and Deven Owsiany are the returning veterans.

Women's Residency Squad: Megan Bonny, Emilie Bydwell, Ryan Carlyle, Lorrie Clifford, Lauren Doyle, Vix Folayan, Kelly Griffin, Jessica Javelet, Kathryn Johnson, Hannah Lockwood, Hannah Lopez, Dana Meschisi, Deven Owsiany, Jillion Potter, Rebekah Siebach, Liz Sowers, Shaina Turley, Amelia Villines

1 comment:

  1. Two Beavers in the Men's and Women's Squads. Very proud! Go Beavs!