August 2, 2016
Eagles Elite Training Squad, Development Training Group 2016 Update
This article is based on a USA Rugby Release.
The second Eagles Elite Training Squad (EETS) and Eagles Development Training Group (EDTG) were announced by Men’s Eagles Head Coach John Mitchell and USA Rugby Director of Performance Alex Magleby.
The First Eagles Elite Training Squad Named was created prior to the Summer Series in April as a way to better track athletes competing in locations worldwide prior to national team assembles. As a result, increased accountability around strength and conditioning and skill set needs may be met. Early program dividends occurred as the Eagles nearly won against Italy and then shut out Russia. The June international tests also provided John Mitchell to place his stamp on the composition of the Eagles.
Once again, 50 athletes were selected for the second EETS. They include 43 that were part of the first EETS and 29 players in camp for the Summer Series. The squad also includes 8 Team USA Sevens Olympians competing at the Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games.
The PRO Rugby season just concluded on July 31st. Fifteen of of these players are also part of this group. Another 10 players are playing professionally overseas and 16 athletes are in residency at the Olympic Training Center.
All these athletes have the opportunity to perform well in camp in order to earn a position on the Fall Tour squad.
John Mitchell said, “We are excited and happy to announce our latest Eagles Elite Training Squad and Eagles Development Training Group for individual preparation ahead of our third assembly window of the year. We are getting to a stage where we can benefit from continuity in having the majority of our squad continue on from assembly to assembly, adding some new players that are now becoming available, which strengthens our talent pool.”
“All players will receive their individual strength and conditioning programs from Chris Brown and his team, aligned to their rugby development plans with the view for them to take ownership in improving their capacity to meet our standards.”
PRO Rugby provided a vehicle for players to increase their high performance opportunities. The EETS squad include the following players:
- Denver Stampede: Chris Baumann, Ben Landry*, Chad London and Ben Tarr – (*Landry exited the preseason early due to an NFL tryout with Seattle.)
- Ohio Aviators: Shaun Davies, JP Eloff (injured), Ahmad Harajly, Angus MacLellan
- Sacramento Express: Eric Fry, Langilangi Haupeakui, Olive Kilifi, Chris Saint
- San Diego Breakers: Taku Ngwenya, Joe Taufete’e, Mikey Te’o
The EDTG squad also included the following PRO Rugby players:
- Denver Stampede: Hanco Germishuys
- Ohio Aviators: Demecus Beach, Peter Malcolm
- San Diego Breakers: Tom Bliss, Sione Tuihalamaka
- San Francisco Rush: Alec Gletzer
Of the sevens new additions to the EETS, four were from PRO Rugby. Langilangi Haupeakui emerged from a call up to Eagles Camp and earned his first international Eagles XV cap against Russia. Shaun Davies, who was capped in 2013, earned his spot on the EETS through an outstanding season playing for the Ohio Aviators.
Alex Magleby discussed the team’s depth saying “We are still limited in depth in a couple of key positions, but for the most part competition for spots continues to increase. There are a bunch of players just under the EETS that, fairly soon, should be putting pressure on this current group.
“A big part of that is PRO Rugby’s efforts transitioning domestic amateurs into full-time professionals. That is not an easy evolution for many but we are starting to see the improvements in skills under pressure, conditioning, and match maturity thanks to PRO’s sustained work over the last few months.”
There are other professionals on the squad. They include Nick Civetta (Newcastle Flacons), Cam Dolan (Cardiff Blues), Andrew Durutalo (Sunwolves), James Hilterbrand (Manly Rugby Union FC/Waratahs), James King (Moorabbin Rams – Australia), Tony Lamborn (Hurricanes), Titi Lamositele (Saracens), AJ MacGinty (Sale Sharks), Samu Manoa (RC Toulonnais), Greg Peterson (Glasgow Warriors), and Blaine Scully (Cardiff Blues).
The American Rugby Premiership also included five players who are capped Eagles. Three are from Old Blue of New York in James Bird, Harry Higgins and Luke Hume (injured). The other two are from New York Athletic Club in Nate Brakeley and Al McFarland.
Tom Clever, who has captained the Eagles, is now playing for the Austin Huns. Lemoto Filikitonga (injured) plays for Metropolis Rugby.
Team USA Sevens members that will be representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, include Danny Barrett, Garrett Bender, Andrew Durutalo, Madison Hughes, Folau Niua, Ben Pinkleman, Zack Test and Maka Unufe. The traveling reserves include Nate Augspurger, Martin Iosefo and Shalom Suniula.
Other Eagles Sevens players that have been instrumental in the success of the team include, Will Holder, Matai Leuta, Thretton Palamo, Kevin Swiryn (injured), Brett Thompson, Peter Tiberio, and Stephen Tomasin.
John Mitchell added “We’re lucky to have Brown and Mike Friday, and the facilities of the Olympic Training Center, for our Sevens athletes to train full-time. We have seen the dynamic impact the Sevens players have made on our training environment and in test matches, and are ready to integrate them into our setup for important matches against the Maori All Blacks, Romania, and Tonga.
“On behalf of the 15s group, we wish Mike, Madison Hughes, and the rest of the team the best of luck in Rio.”
More information around the Eagles’ November schedule will be released in due course. Tickets for the match against the Maori All Blacks, part of “The Rugby Weekend Presented by AIG” in Chicago, are available via Ticketmaster from $22, with less than 25 percent of tickets remaining.
Eagles Elite Training Squad: July 2016 – Jan. 2017
|Nate Augspurger||Men’s Eagles Sevens||Half back|
|Danny Barrett||Men’s Eagles Sevens||Loose forward|
|Chris Baumann||Denver Stampede (PRO)||Prop|
|Garrett Bender||Men’s Eagles Sevens||Loose forward|
|James Bird||Old Blue of New York||Half back|
|Nate Brakeley||Winged Foot – New York Athletic Club||Second row|
|Nick Civetta||Newcastle Falcons (England)||Second row|
|Todd Clever||Austin Huns||Loose forward|
|Shaun Davies||Ohio Aviators (PRO)||Half back|
|Cameron Dolan||Cardiff Blues (Wales)||Loose forward|
|Andrew Durutalo||Sunwolves (Super Rugby)||Loose forward|
|JP Eloff*||Ohio Aviators (PRO)||Center|
|Lemoto Filikitonga*||Metropolis Rugby Football Club||Center|
|Eric Fry||Sacramento Express (PRO)||Prop|
|Ahmad Harajly||Ohio Aviators (PRO)||Center|
|Langilangi Haupeakui||Sacramento Express (PRO)||Loose forward|
|Harry Higgins||Old Blue of New York||Loose forward|
|James Hilterbrand||Manly Rugby Union Football Club / Waratahs (Super Rugby)||Hooker|
|Will Holder||Men’s Eagles Sevens||Full back|
|Madison Hughes||Men’s Eagles Sevens||Half back|
|Luke Hume*||Old Blue of New York||Wing|
|Martin Iosefo||Men’s Eagles Sevens||Center|
|Olive Kilifi||Sacramento Express (PRO)||Prop|
|James King||Moorabbin Rams RFC (Australia)||Second row|
|Tony Lamborn||Hurricanes (Super Rugby)||Loose forward|
|Titi Lamositele||Saracens Football Club (England)||Prop|
|Ben Landry||Denver Stampede (PRO)||Second row|
|Matai Leuta||Men’s Eagles Sevens||Wing|
|Chad London||Denver Stampede (PRO)||Center|
|AJ MacGinty||Sale Sharks (England)||Half back|
|Angus MacLellan||Ohio Aviators (PRO)||Prop|
|Samu Manoa||RC Toulonnais (France)||Second row|
|Al McFarland||Winged Foot – New York Athletic Club||Loose forward|
|Taku Ngwenya||San Diego Breakers (PRO)||Wing|
|Folau Niua||Men’s Eagles Sevens||Center|
|Thretton Palamo||Men’s Eagles Sevens||Center|
|Greg Peterson||Glasgow Warriors (Scotland)||Second row|
|Ben Pinkelman||Men’s Eagles Sevens||Loose forward|
|Chris Saint||Sacramento Express (PRO)||Half back|
|Blaine Scully||Cardiff Blues (Wales)||Wing|
|Shalom Suniula||Men’s Eagles Sevens||Half back|
|Kevin Swiryn*||Seattle Saracens||Wing|
|Ben Tarr||Denver Stampede (PRO)||Prop|
|Joe Taufete’e||San Diego Breakers (PRO)||Hooker|
|Mike Te’o||San Diego Breakers (PRO)||Full back|
|Zack Test||Men’s Eagles Sevens||Full back|
|Brett Thompson||Men’s Eagles Sevens||Wing|
|Peter Tiberio||Men’s Eagles Sevens||Center|
|Stephen Tomasin||Men’s Eagles Sevens||Half back|
|Maka Unufe||Men’s Eagles Sevens||Wing|
Eagles Development Training Group: July 2016 – Jan. 2017
|Malon Al-Jiboori||Lindenwood University (D1A)||Loose forward|
|Dylan Audsley||Saint Mary’s College (D1A)||Center|
|Tanner Barnes||Central Washington University||Center|
|Demecus Beach||Ohio Aviators (PRO)||Prop|
|Pat Blair||Men’s Eagles Sevens||Hooker|
|Tom Bliss||San Diego Breakers (PRO)||Half back|
|Nick Boyer||University of California, Berkeley||Half back|
|Ben Cima||Rocky Gorge Rugby Club||Half back|
|Hanco Germishuys||Denver Stampede (PRO)||Hooker|
|Alec Gletzer||San Francisco Rush (PRO)||Loose forward|
|Seth Halliman||Central Washington University||Full back|
|Conor Kearns||Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)||Full back|
|Tua Laei||Rugby Utah||Wing|
|Peter Malcolm||Ohio Aviators (PRO), Wheeling Jesuit University (D1A)||Hooker|
|Alex Maughan||Life University (D1A)||Prop|
|Cody Melphy||Life University (D1A)||Wing|
|Deion Mikesell||Lindenwood University (D1A)||Wing|
|Christian Ostberg||Aurrilac (France)||Second row|
|Aladdin Schirmer||Central Washington Universty||Loose forward|
|Lorenzo Thomas||Lindenwood University (D1A)||Center|
|Sione Tuihalamaka||San Diego Breakers (PRO)||Loose forward|
|Dino Waldren||Saint Mary’s College (D1A)||Prop|
|Calvin Whiting||Brigham Young University||Center|