June 8, 2017
USA Men’s Eagles Squad Selected for Ireland
USA Men’s Eagles Head Coach John Mitchell has selected the 23-man squad for Saturday’s Emirates Airline Summer Series opener against No. 4 Ireland at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey. The kickoff will be at 5pm ET and televised on the NBC Sports Network.
Following this test, the team will conclude the Summer Series against Georgia on June 17. The team then will face Canada in Toronto June 24 and again on July 1 in San Diego in the Rugby World Cup 2019 Qualifiers to determine the Americas 1 team. The Eagles last played Ireland in Houston in 2013, losing 15-12.
Nate Augspurger will captain the side and start at scrumhalf. The Eagles starters have 115 caps, while the reserves have 49 caps and one potential debutant in Paddy Ryan at prop.
Many Eagles players selected by John Mitchell last played at the Americas Rugby Championship in February and March, where they won their first championship since the 1920s.
Mitchell described the team in a USA Rugby article indicating that “We’re focused on our purpose and we’re getting back into the processes of our working week – which the players are now familiar with coming in to camp. Camp does stress the athlete in terms of learning and work load, as well. The athletes have had a high work ethic with a healthy desire for competition.
“It’s also a case of managing the athletes. We have the immediate short-term of dealing with and trying to out-fox Ireland, but we also have an eye on preparing for the end of the month and are holding back some athletes in order to manage their training load.”
With Mitchell indicating that managing their training load was a consideration, several extended squad members were not selected for Ireland and should play valuable roles in the remaining tests.
Todd Clever was injured in the ARC and helped the Austin Huns win the USA Club Rugby National Championship. Ben Landry, after playing professional NFL football, rejoined the Glendale Raptors and is a force at lock. Cam Dolan recently concluded his PRO 12 Rugby season with the Cardiff Blues and can play lock and backrow. Props Anthony Purpura and Dino Waldren played well during the ARC, as well as for Old Blue of NY and Trinity College, respectively. Both Madison Hughes and Matai Leuta ended their World Rugby Sevens Series season two weeks ago, just prior to joining the Eagles XV camp.
The starting backs have Augspurger at scrumhalf, where he will pair with AJ MacGinty, at flyhalf. Augspurger also played wing during the last three ARC matches, while MacGinty played inside center against Uruguay in his only ARC appearance before returning to the Sale Sharks.
In the centers will be Western Force’s Marcel Brache and Ryan Matyas with Eagles Sevens players Martin Iosefo and Mike Te’o as wings. Ben Cima will round out the backs at fullback and his foot could be critical to the team’s success from any Irish infractions.
The forwards will have former Denver Stampede teammates Ben Tarr and Chris Baumann at props. They played for the Glendale Raptors and the Austin Blacks this past Spring, respectively. A very mobile Peter Malcolm was selected at hooker.
The first three ARC tests in the U.S. had Nate Brakeley from New York Athletic Club and Nic Civetta from the Newcastle Falcons being a formidable force as locks. They are joined in the backrow by Tony Lamborn of Hawke’s Bay Magpies at open side flanker and John Quill of the Glendale Raptors. David Tameilau fresh off his season with RC Narbonne will be at No. 8.
Both Luke Hume and Titi Lamositele could not participate in camp due to injuries and were replaced on the test 30 man squad by Men’s Eagles Sevens player Matai Leuta and by Newcastle Falcons professional Paddy Ryan, who could make his international debut against Ireland in the reserves.
The reserves have experienced forwards in James Hilterbrand from Manly Rugby at hooker, and Joe Taufete’e from the Worcester Warriors at prop/hooker and Andrew Durutalo at flanker. Durutalo played with the Men’s Eagles Sevens and recently signed with the Ealing Trailfinders next season. Matt Jensen demonstrated in the ARC that he can also make an impact when called upon.
Reserve backs include half backs Shaun Davies and Will Magie with Bryce Campbell and Matt Jensen ready to make an impact if called upon.
Limited tickets are still available for the game at Red Bull Arena. The match will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network, with access on the NBC Sports Live Extra streaming application available with valid credentials.
Men’s Eagles v. Ireland: 1. Ben Tarr 2. Peter Malcolm 3. Chris Baumann 4. Nate Brakeley 5. Nic Civetta 6. John Quill 7. Tony Lamborn 8. David Tameilau 9. Nate Augspurger(C) 10. AJ MacGinty 11. Martin Iosefo 12. Marcel Brache 13. Ryan Matyas 14. Mike Te’o 15. Ben Cima 16. James Hilterbrand 17. Joe Taufete’e 18. Paddy Ryan 19. Matthew Jensen 20. Andrew Durutalo 21. Shaun Davies 22. Will Magie 23. Bryce Campbell
Ireland v. USA (Ireland Squad Article)
1. Cian Healy 2. Niall Scannell 3. John Ryan 4. Quinn Roux 5. Devin Toner 6. Rhys Ruddock (C) 7. Josh van der Flier 8. Jack Conan 9. Kieran Marmion 10. Joey Carbery 11. Jacob Stockdale 12. Luke Marshall 13. Garry Ringrose 14. Keith Earls 15. Tiernan O’Halloran 16. Dave Heffernan 17. David Kilcoyne 18. Andrew Porter 19. James Ryan 20. Dan Leavy 21. Luke McGrath 22. Rory Scannell 23. Simon Zebo
Read the DJCoil Rugby article for the USA Eagles Expanded Squad for Ireland, Georgia and Canada.
USA Men’s Eagles | Summer 2017 Schedule
v. Ireland (Emirates Airline Summer Series) – Saturday, June 10 @ 5 p.m. ET – Red Bull Arena
v. Georgia (Emirates Airline Summer Series) – Saturday, June 17 @ 7 p.m. ET – Fifth Third Bank Stadium at Kennesaw State University
v. Canada (Rugby World Cup 2019 Qualifier) – Saturday, June 24 @ 3 p.m. ET – Tim Hortons Field
v. Canada (Rugby World Cup 2019 Qualifier) – Saturday, July 1 @ 6 p.m. ET – Torero Stadium