Americas Pacific Rugby Challenge

Joe Taufete’e to Captain USA Rugby Selects Against Fiji Warriors

October 7, 2916

Joe Taufete’e to Captain USA Rugby Selects Against Fiji Warriors

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Photo: PRO Rugby – San Diego Breakers of Joe Taufete’e

Doug Coil

The USA Rugby Selects Head Coach Ray Egan has selected a match-day 23 man squad, captained by Eagle Joe Taufete’e, for the developmental side’s first match of the Americas Pacific Challenge competition against Fiji Warriors Saturday, Oct. 8 in Montevideo, Uruguay.

After training in West Palm Beach, Florida earlier in the week, they departed for Uruguay early to avoid the impending Hurricane Matthew, which ravaged Florida earlier this morning. At the camp, twenty six athletes trained to gain a cohesive understanding of the game plan, as the team athletes play for more than a dozen clubs and collegiate institutions.

The kickoff for Saturday’s match against the Fiji Warriors is at 1:15 p.m. ET from Estadio CharrĂșa, in Montevideo, Uruguay and is available for viewing in the United States with a subscription to The Rugby Channel.

The Selects are a USA Rugby development side that will have seven players that have been capped for the Eagles. Taufete’e, who played for PRO Rugby’s San Diego Breakers, will captain the side and play Hooker. He is joined by Demecus Beach in the front row at prop. Demecus also played for PRO Rugby’s Ohio Aviators. At Flanker is Pat Blair, who has played for the Eagles 7s and Harry Higgins from Old Blue of New York. At scrum half and flyhalf are Stephen Tomasin, that has played for the Eagles 7s and JP Eloff, from the Ohio Aviators. Brett Thompson, who has played for both the Eagles XV and 7s, is at wing and Mikey Te’o, from the San Diego Breakers, at full back.

The front row also will have PRO Rugby’s Mason Pedersen, a teammate of Taufete’e for the San Diego Breakers. San Francisco Rush’s Siaosi Mahoni will start alongside Brigham Young University graduate Matthew Jensen in the second row. The Breakers also will have Sione Tu’ihalamaka starting at eight man.

There are two additional Eagles 7s players that will start. Matai Leuta will also be a wing along with Thompson, while Martin Iosefo will be a center. Indiana University’s Bryce Campbell will joinn him as a center.

Expect an offensive, open game plan that will emphasis the sevens players experience in an effort to place the Fiji Warriors under pressure.

The Selects hope to develop younger players to build a pool of players that are capable of playing for the Eagles for years to come. Siaosi Mahoni is the youngest player on the starting XV at 19, while Malon Al-Jiboori and Chance Wenglewski are also 19 as reserves.

Other younger players include, Hanco Germishuys, a flanker for PRO Rugby’s Denver Stampede, who USA Rugby wants to gain experience at Hooker. Life University’s Alex Maughan could also see time in the scrum.

Other reserves include, Christian Ostberg who is playing rugby professionally for Stade Aurillacois in France. Nick Boyer is a recent graduate of the University of California, Ben Cima plays Rocky Gorge Rugby Football Club and Ahmad Harajily played for the Ohio Aviators.

The Selects have been grouped with the ‘A’ sides of Argentina and Samoa, and will play Fiji, Canada, and Uruguay in Montevideo on October 8, 12 and 16th, respectively.

The Americas Pacific Challenge provides another high performance opportunity for domestic talent to gain international match time in preparation for potential inclusion in the senior squads during the November international test window.

USA Rugby Selects v. Fiji Warriors
1. Mason Pedersen 2. Joseph Taufete’e(C) 3. Demecus Beach 4. Siaosi Mahoni 5. Matthew Jensen 6. Harry Higgins 7. Pat Blair 8. Sione Tu’ihalamaka 9. Stephen Tomasin 10. Jean-Pierre Eloff 11. Mataiyasi Leuta 12. Martin Iosefo 13. Bryce Campbell 14. Brett Thompson 15. Mikey Te’o 16. Hanco Germishuys 17. Chance Wenglewski 18. Alex Maughan 19. Christian Ostberg 20. Malon Al-Jiboori 21. Nicklas Boyer 22. Benjamin Cima 23. Ahmad Harajly

USA Rugby Selects | Coaching Staff
Ray Egan – Head Coach
Shawn Pittman – Assistant Coach
Chris O’Brien – Assistant Coach / Video Analyst
Alex Ross – Strength and Conditioning
Mark Sakr – Team Doctor
Kevin Ng – Physiotherapist
JD Stephenson – Manager

Preview Article: USA Rugby Selects Squad for Americas Pacific Challenge

Americas Pacific Challenge | Tournament Schedule

Round Date Team Team Time (ET)
1 Oct. 8 Argentina XV v Canada A 11 a.m.
USA Rugby Selects
v Fiji Warriors 1:15 p.m.
Samoa A v Uruguay A 3:30 p.m.
2 Oct. 12 Samoa A v Fiji Warriors 11 a.m.
USA Rugby Selects
v Canada A 1:15 p.m.
Argentina XV v Uruguay A 3:30 p.m.
3 Oct. 16 Samoa A v Canada A 11 a.m.
USA Rugby Selects
v Uruguay A 1:15 p.m.
Argentina XV v Fiji Warriors 3:30 p.m.

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