Eagles & Canada Squads for Game 1 RWC 2019 Qualifier

June 22, 2017

Eagles & Canada Squads for Game 1 RWC 2019 Qualifier


Photo: Miss Colleen Rugby Pix

Doug Coil

The Eagles will face Canada in a two match Rugby World Cup 2019 Qualifier on June 24 at Tim Horton Field in Hamilton, Ontario and on July 1 at Torero Stadium in San Diego.

In preparation for the RWC 2019 Qualifier, the Eagles played two Emirates Airlines Summer Series match losing to 4th ranked Ireland on June 10 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey and losing to 12th ranked Georgia 21-17 at Fifth Third Bank Stadium at Kennesaw State University on June 17.

Canada also had two test matches to prepare them for the RWC 2019 Qualifier against the United States. Canada lost to Georgia 13-0 on June 10 and then to 16th ranked Romania 25-9 on June 17.

Both matches of the qualifiers against Canada will be broadcast in the United States live on The Rugby Channel.

In Canada, Saturday’s game kicks off at 3pm ET/12pm PT and can be seen LIVE on TSN. Tickets are still available by clicking here. The second match on July 1 will be in San Diego at Torero Stadium with the kick off at 7 pm ET/ 4pm PT.

USA Men’s Eagles

Head Coach John Mitchell has selected an experienced USA Men’s Eagles side with 200 caps that will be captained by Todd Clever. The all-time record holder will earn his 75 cap and announced that after the Series against Canada, that he will retire from international test rugby.

The forwards will have a front row of Anthony Purpura, James Hilterbrand and Paddy Ryan, the later who will earn his second cap. The locks will see Ben Landry paired with Nick Civetta, while the back row will have captain Todd Clever at blindside flanker and John Quill at openside flanker and Cam Dolan at No. 8.

Both Chris Baumann and Tony Lamborn were unavailable for selection this week following injuries sustained June 17 against Georgia.

The backs will have vice captain Nate Augspurger pairing with AJ MacGintyat fly half and will link with Marcel Brache and Bryce Campbell at centers. Matai Leuta and Ryan Matyas will patrol the wings with Mike Te’o at fullback.

The reserves will have a front row available of Ben Tarr, Peter Malcolm and Dino Waldren. Matt Jensen will cover at lock with Andrew Durutalo and David Tameilau at backrow. Back reserves include scrumhalf Shaun Davies and fullback Ben Cima.

John Mitchell discussed the Summer Series matches against Ireland and Georgia indicating to USA Rugby that “Both of our summer contests have been really good for us.  Ireland provided a lot of variety in attack and Georgia were big and strong in the set piece. We’ve been stressed enough to be able to understand what we’ll need to bring in the next 10 days. Playing third- and 12th-ranked teams in the world has been ideal preparation for us and I am sure Georgia dominates just about every scrum they come up against including the All Blacks at Rugby World Cup 2015.”

“We are really excited for this series, as you wait four years for this and you do not want to miss it, especially since it has never been achieved in USA Eagles RWC-Qualifying history which gives you an indication of the enormity of the task. The lads have put in a tremendous amount of quality work and have realized there is healthy competition for places dictated by a focus on nailing our key skills to improve our chance to win.”

Mitchell also complemented the depth of the squad in leaving out players such as Will Magie and Nate Brakeley based on selections and injuries. The entire traveling squad has contributed and July 1 is another match.

The Eagles enter the match 17th in the world, while Canada is ranked 23rd. The Eagles have a five match win streak against Canada, most recently at the Americas Rugby Championship that they won 51-34.

The winner of the Qualification Series will be the North America 1 representative to the Rugby World Cup2019 in Japan. The loser will play Uruguay in a home and away series. The lower ranked of the two teams will host the first fixture on January 27 with the second fixture to be played on February 3 in the higher ranked country. The second of these matches will double as a match for the Americas Rugby Championship. The winner of the North vs South Series will be the Americas 2 representative to the RWC 2019. The loser of that Series will then enter the repechage with one last chance at qualifying.


Head coach Mark Anscombe has named his starting XV for Saturday’s Rugby World Cup qualifier against the USA. Brett Beukeboom and DTH van der Merwe will co-captain Canada for the first leg of the two-game series. Game 2 will be on July 1 in San Diego.

Mark Anscombe stressed for Rugby Canada that “It’s very important to win the first game. Whoever gets victory is one up in a two test series so it’s crucial we take advantage of home field. It’ll be harder to go to San Diego with a loss and a win would build a lot of confidence.”

The forwards will feature an experienced front row of Djustice Sears-Duru, Ray Barkwill and Jake Ilnicki, while Evan Olmstead joins Beukeboom at lock. In the back row, Admir Cejvanovic will be the blindside flanker and Matt Heaton the openside flanker with Tyler Ardron at No. 8.

In the backs, Phil Mack starts at scrum-half and will pair with Shane O’Leary at fly-half. Connor Braid and DTH van der Merwe are the centers, the wings Taylor Paris and Andrew Coe, with Ciaran Hearn at fullback.

While Canada is 38-17-1 all-time against USA, the Eagles have won the past five matches. At stake however, is ultimately qualifying for the Rugby World Cup 2019, so that will provide sufficient motivation between these two rivals.

Canada last Rugby World Cup qualification match was in July 2009 when they lost 12-6 to USA and is 15-4 all-time in Rugby World Cup qualification matches.

The first Rugby World Cup was held in 1987 and Canada has played in every one, with their best result in 1991 where they reached the quarterfinals. The USA has played in seven of the previous eight tournaments, but has never advanced out of the pool stages.

Saturday’s game kicks off at 3pm ET/12pm PT and can be seen LIVE on TSN. Tickets are still available by clicking here. In the USA, the match will be broadcast live on The Rugby Channel.


Eagles Roster update. Due to illness, Ryan Matyas will not play. Mike Te’o moves to wing and Ben Cima to fullback with Will Magee joining the squad as a reserve.

Men’s Eagles: 1. Tony Purpura 2. James Hilterbrand 3. Paddy Ryan 4. Ben Landry 5. Nick Civetta 6. Todd Clever (C) 7. John Quill 8. Cam Dolan 9. Nate Augspurger 10. AJ MacGinty 11. Matai Leuta 12. Marcel Brache  13. Bryce Campbell 14. Ryan MatyasMike Te’o 15. Ben Cima 16. Peter Malcolm 17. Ben Tarr 18. Dino Waldren 19. Matthew Jensen 20. David Tameilau 21. Andrew Durutalo 22. Shaun Davies 23. Will Magee

Canada: 1. Djustice Sears-Duru 2. Ray Barkwill 3. Jake Ilnicki 4. Brett Beukeboom (Co-C) 5. Evan Olmstead 6. Admir Cejvanovic 7. Matt Heaton 8. Tyler Ardron 9. Phil Mack 10. Shane O’Leary 11. Taylor Paris 12. Connor Braid 13. DTH van Der Merwe (Co-C) 14. Andrew Coe 15 Ciaran Hearn 16. Benoit Piffero 17. Anthony Luca 18. Matt Tierney 19. Kyle Baillie 20. Aaron Carpenter 21. Gordon McRorie 22. Nick Blevins 23. Dan Moor

USA Men’s Eagles Summer 2017 Schedule
v. Ireland (Emirates Airline Summer Series) – L 55-19
v. Georgia (Emirates Airline Summer Series) – L 21-17
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



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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant