November 2, 2016
USA Men’s Eagles Name Squad vs. Maori All Blacks
“The Rugby Weekend Presented by AIG” begins Friday, November 4 with the USA Men’s Eagles facing the Maori All Blacks at Toyota Park, Chicago. All-time U.S. caps leader Todd Clever will captain the side.
Head Coach John Mitchell’s named a 38 man November tour squad, 30 of which arrived in Chicago on Tuesday. Friday’s match is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. CT, with the live broadcast available to viewers in the United States and Canada on The Rugby Channel.
The Premiership Rugby made both Nick Civetta and Titi Lamositele available despite being outside of the international test window and they earned spots in the starting XV. Their support and that of the Newcastle Falcons and the Saracens is appreciated.
The Eagles faced the Maori All Blacks in front of a sold out crowd in the 18,500 capacity PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania in November 2013. Three players from that match are on the Eagles quad for this match in Todd Clever, Titi Lamositele and Folau Niua. This year’s match is also expected to be a sell out with the ticket supply dwindling on Ticketmaster.
The front row will find Chris Baumann, who played for the PRO Rugby Denver Stampede and then with the Wellington Lions in New Zealand, at tighthead prop. Titi Lamowitele from the Saracens will be at loosehead prop and James Hilterbrand who is playing rugby for Waratahs / Manly in Australia, at Hooker.
At locks will be the combination of Nate Brakeley from the New York Athletic Club and Nick Civetta from the Newcastle Falcons. Nate played at the Americas Rugby Championship, while Nick is with the Eagles for the first time.
In the back row, will be Eagles captain Todd Clever, who will be playing with the Austin Huns. He is joined by Tony Lamborn from the Hawke’s Bay Magpies. USA Sevens player and Olympian, Danny Barrett rounds out the starting forwards.
In the backs, the halfback combination will be Nate Augspurger at scrumhalf and Will Holder at flyhalf. Both players were prominent members of the USA Sevens program. Two other Sevens players will man the wings in MArtin iosefo and Matai Leuta, while Folau Niua will be at center.
Bryce Campbell from Indiana University will debut for the Eagles and will join Niua at center. Mikey Te’o, who is a capped Eagle and played for the PRO Rugby San Diego Breakers will be at fullback.
The reserves will have three World Cup members in Al McFarland, Joe Taufete’e, and Shalom Suniula. They will be joined by USA Sevens captain and Olympian, Madison Hughes and Stephen Tomasin who has been capped for both the Eagles 7s and 15s. Angus MacLellan is also a capped Eagle.Matt Jensen and Alex Maughan were outstanding college players and they, as well as the rest of the squad will be looking impress.
The Maori All Blacks’ squad was announced earlier today and includes several capped All Blacks, including four players touring with the All Blacks released for the match at Toyota Park.
John Mitchell said that “Culturally the Maori All Blacks bond extremely well and have their own spirit and ethos as a result of their wonderful Maori culture. They’ve also got the British & Irish Lions tour next year to look forward to, so a lot of these layers will be looking to impress.”
Mitchell added about the Eagles that “The boys have a tough job ahead of them but they’ve trained smarter and we have challenged them in the decision-making space, and they are motivated for this match against arguably the best non-test team in the world.”
Toyota Park will open at 4 p.m. CT on Friday for the broadcast live on The Rugby Channel for subscribers at 7 p.m. CT. Few tickets remain, and are available via Ticketmaster. Match updates will be made on Twitter @USARugby and for social media the “hashtag” #USAvMaoriABs should be used.
Men’s Eagles v. Maori All Blacks
1. Titi Lamositele 2. James Hilterbrand 3. Chris Baumann 4. Nate Brakeley 5. Nick Civetta 6. Todd Clever(C) 7. Tony Lamborn 8. Danny Barrett 9. Nate Augspurger10. Will Holder 11. Matai Leuta 12. Folau Niua 13. Bryce Campbell 14. Martin Iosefo 15. Mike Te’o 16. Joe Taufete’e 17. Angus MacLellan 18.
Alex Maughan Pat Blair 19. Matthew Jensen 20. Al McFarland 21. Stephen Tomasin 22. Shalom Suniula 23. Madison Hughes
Maori All Blacks v. USA
1. Kane Hames 2. Ash Dixon (C) 3. Ben May 4. Jacob Skeen 5. Tom Franklin 6. Elliot Dixon 7. Kara Pryor 8. Akira Ioane 9. Tawera Kerr-Barlow 10. Ihaia West 11. James Lowe 12. Tim Bateman 13. Matt Proctor 14. Rieko Ioane 15. Damian McKenzie 16. Joe Royal 17. Chris Eves 18. Marcel Renata 19. Leighton Price 20. Shane Christie 21. Brad Weber 22. Marty McKenzie 23. Sean Wainui
Men’s Eagles November Tour
v. Maori All Blacks – Friday, Nov. 4 @ Toyota Park – Chicago
v. Romania – Saturday, Nov. 12 @ Stadionul Arcul de Triumf – Bucharest
v. Tonga – Saturday, Nov. 19 @ Estadio Anoeta – San Sebastián, Spain