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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

European Eagles Extremely Unlikely To Play Maori All Blacks


The top Americans playing overseas in Europe are extremely unlikely to play against the Maori All Blacks next month in Chicago. The Premiership and other top leagues in Europe have tightened their rules this year to only allow for the release of players during the Regulation 9 window. That means unlike when the U.S. negotiated for the release of their top players in 2014 to face the All Blacks in a similar situation that won't happen this go around. In that case the likes of Samu Manoa, Chris Wyles, and Blaine Scully were made available on the condition that they would be sent back early to their clubs for most of the rest of the international window. This time a deal like that isn't going to happen leaving Manoa, Scully, Cam Dolan and others out of the match.

What it all means is that a largely domestic team will take on the Maori All Blacks with the European players then coming into camp in Europe to face Romania and Tonga. There is still the possibility that players playing at a lower level in Europe will be available to face the Maori All Blacks but even if a player isn't getting much time with their club at a first team level, such as Nick Civetta or Titi Lamositele, they will not be available to travel to Chicago.

Take the jump to read more.
As a result head coach John Mitchell is going to have to pick what was roughly the equivalent of the ARC teams for the latter rounds of that tournament. Bear in mind, the U.S. can still put together a strong line-up for the Maori All Blacks but it wont' be their top choice team. You can also expect that Mitchell is going to call in an expanded squad for the November Internationals. Additionally, it's unclear if this impacts teams in the Southern Hemisphere or at the RFU Championhip/Federale 1 level. If not, that could open up more players to play.

Funnily enough, this move is actually going to save U.S.A. Rugby money. Instead of paying for flights back and forth across the Atlantic for European guys now they are only going to send over the top domestic players to compliment the European-based players. World Rugby does help with the costs of the November Internationals but any savings are going to help lead to more domestic camps, tours, etc.

Additionally, unlike previous years a near-fully domestic Eagles team will come into the match better prepared. It would not be a shock to see many players that are playing for the Selects turn out against the Maori All Blacks. For a player that was a part of the ARC team, like Mike Te'o, it more than just the three matches in the Americas Pacific Challenge that has them ready for the match but a full season of PRO Rugby as well. It may not impact the final result but this domestic team should come in with better fitness and better skills than in similar situations in the past.


6 comments:

  1. I m still puzzled by this organization with games between Ireland and AB in Chicago while Eagles will take only Maoris..But now i read that this issue of players availability wasn't handled...Not professional!

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    1. Well, the clubs they play for are not obligated to release the players. So, what do you propose?

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  2. So is the date of the match outside of the window or is the fact that the match is not a true "test match" means it does not qualify for Reg 9 window?

    I have to assume that Ireland will have all of its players available for NZ correct?

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    1. It's that it is outside the Reg 9 window. Ireland will have all of their players because the IRFU controls the Irish teams and can break their own rules.

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    2. My understanding from a newspaper article from New Zealand is that the Maori's are not a recognized international team and therefore the game does not fall under Reg 9 rules. See comment by Mitchellabout half way down: https://www.maoritelevision.com/news/sport/world-rugby-denies-maori-all-blacks-world-class-status


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    3. ALso wondering if Andrew Durutalo might be available since his season in Japan is finished?

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