Friday, May 12, 2017

Manoa, Scully To Miss Eagles Summer Series, Squad Announced

Blaine Scully will miss out this summer. 

The Eagles will be without a key group of players as they get set for their summer matches against Ireland, Georgia, and World Cup qualifying series against Canada. Samu Manoa, Blaine Scully, Greg Peterson, and Thretton Palamo will all miss out with injuries. Those are big losses for the team as they were counting on their experience and poise. They are also going to miss out on the leadership of Scully.

The team will have the services of a number of overseas players, however. Titi Lamositele, Joe Taufete'e, and AJ MacGinty have all seen significant time in the Premiership this year. James Hilterbrand and Tony Lamborn have significant experience at the top domestic levels in Australia and New Zealand. Marcel Brache is a regular fixture in Super Rugby. David Tameilau has seen regular time with Narbonne.

Overall, the squad is a mix of younger players like Peter Malcolm and veterans like Todd Clever. Some notable names missing due to non-selection are Taku Ngwenya and Eric Fry.

Take the jump to read more."We've all worked hard - staff and players - to be able to present consistency in our squad mix with healthy competition in all positions which will enable us to step up our level in this summer of test matches because each will become a greater challenge than the one before it," head coach John Mitchell said in a U.S.A. Rugby press release. "We are definitely going to get a high-tempo game against Ireland, which is fantastic. It'll allow the guys to get a really good feel for the tempo and intensity that comes with playing a top-three rugby nation. Being a top-three-ranked nation in the world does not arrive by accident. Then Georgia, who have huge forward strengths and will come at us in different areas of the game, which will prepare us well for our Canadian test matches."

"It's all about maintaining a connection with the players while we're out of camp, observing games and some training footage and keeping in touch with the players on how they feel and where they think they are at," Mitchell continued. "The selection process is not a quick one, and the communication around it has been huge. It's just now a matter of us getting back into our working week and making sure we hit our metrics, play our style of football. Our mentality and approach will be no different than when we were last together except there will be an expectation to get better."

"If you would have asked Marty Veale and myself a year and half ago that we would have five props just like the lock depth aligned to what we do and what we expect, the answer would have probably been no. The speed of our locks has improved dramatically and is what we expect from them at this level, and having six loose forwards with two who can go to lock is also pretty vital for us in terms of how we can select our team mix.

"Put it this way: it's probably been the most challenging squad mix to select. It's not nice to have to leave very good players out but at the same time it also warms your heart to realize there's healthy competition starting to be generated in this group for now and the future of USA Rugby Eagles 15s. With our intermittent model of player availability throughout recent assemblies, it's nice now to be able to have choices but at the same time bring a stable and consistent program for the players that have been selected."

"To be Americas 1, to have the challenge of playing against England, France, and Argentina in Pool C, is very important to us, it is something we value, and we know it has to be earned. It hasn't been done before. We would be very proud to represent the United States of America as the Americas' top seed and be authentically competitive against these nations."

Prop: Chris Baumann (Austin Blacks), Titi Lamositele (Saracens), Tony Purpura (Old Blue), Ben Tarr (Glendale Raptors), Dino Waldren (Trinity)

Hooker: James Hilterbrand (Manly), Peter Malcolm (Austin Huns), Joe Taufete'e (Worcester)

Lock: Nate Brakeley (NYAC), Nick Civetta (Newcastle), Matt Jensen (BYU), Ben Landry (Glendale Raptors)

Back-row: Todd Clever (Austin Huns), Cam Dolan (Cardiff), Andrew Durutalo (Eagles 7s), Tony Lamborn (Hawke's Bay), John Quill (Glendale Raptors), David Tameilau (Narbonne)

Scrumhalf: Nate Augspurger (Old Blue), Shaun Davies (Glendale Raptors)

Fly-half: Ben Cima (Rocky Gorge), AJ MacGinty (Sale), Will Magie (Glendale Raptors)

Center: Marcel Brache (Western Force), Bryce Campbell (Glendale Raptors), Martin Iosefo (Eagles 7s)

Wing: Luke Hume (Old Blue), Ryan Matyas (Old Blue), Mike Te'o (Belmont Shore)

Fullback: Madison Hughes (Eagles 7s)


  1. Wondering about some of the players not on the list- JP Eloff, Ngwenya, Mikesell, Tomasin, Germushuys. Injured, unavailable or just not in form? And is Lorenzo Thomas no longer playing rugby? Very surprised to see Madison Hughes on the team.

  2. No Hanco?

    Also, note that Ireland will be playing with several uncapped players, as the cream have been selected for the British and Irish Lions tour.
    So that should level the playing field.