USA Islanders to Play Saracens in Bermuda

July 25, 2017

USA Islanders to Play Saracens in Bermuda


Logos: USA Islanders Rugby & Saracens

Doug Coil

The USA Islanders will play the Saracens at the Bermuda National Sports Centre near Hamilton, Bermuda on August 10 at 7:30 pm local time will be broadcast by FloRugby.

The Aviva Premiership team, the Saracens, will be training in Bermuda prior to their season beginning. They also will be helping support charitable efforts for local youth through the Beyond Rugby Program.

The USA Islanders are coached by former Eagles 15s player Vaha Esikia and by former USA Sevens player Tui Osborne. Esikia heads the Las Vegas Rugby Academy and played for San Mateo. Osborne played for Riverside and currently is the head coach of St. Bonaventure University. Paula Fukofuka, an assistant coach played prop for the Hayward Griffins. Alatini Saulala is also an assistant coach. He formerly was a center for Tonga.

Bruce McLane is the team manager, although he has no islander heritage. McLane previously played for Monmouth Rugby Club and was formerly head coach of New York Athletic Club. He currently is head coach at Iona College.

The players for the USA Islanders team,must have some heritage from island nations. Most have a Tongan, Samoan, or Fijian background, although other nations are also represented.

The USA Islanders have several former or current Eagles on their squad in Seattle Saracens prop Olive Kilifi, Seattle Saracens flyhalf/scrumhalf Shalom Suniula, current USA Sevens and Eagles XV player Matai Leuta, lock Tai Tuisamoa, No. 8 Langilangi Haupeakui and former USA sevens player Gerson Blaise.

In addition, former Life University player and coach Colton Cariaga, and former PRO Rugby players Devereaux Ferris, Patrick Latu, Jojo Tikoisuva, Sione Tuihalamaka add experience to the side. Pagopagohokma Haini is in the USA Sevens player pool and recently signed with the Houston Strikers. Alex Taefu was on the USA U20s team. Pila Huihui, played for San Francisco Golden Gate and for Tiger Rugby.

The Saracens will open their Aviva Premiership Rugby season on September 2nd against the Northampton Saints at Twickenham Stadium in London. These two team will then meet in the United States when the Northampton Saints host the Saracens on September 16th at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, PA. The Saracens also played in the first regular season Premiership Rugby match in the United States in March, 2016 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey against the London Irish.

The Saracens roster is listed below and along with the USA Islanders, their match day roster will be announced closer to the match on August 10.

USA Islander Roster:

  • Misitana Afeaki – Fullback
  • Gerson Blaise – Wing
  • Colton Cariaga – Flyhalf
  • Paul Eteaki – Center
  • Devereaux Ferris – Scrumhalf
  • Pagopagohokma Haini – Flanker
  • Langilangi Haupeakui – Flanker/No. 8
  • Viliami “Pila” Huihui – Wing
  • Ollie Kilifi – Prop
  • Patrick Latu – Prop/Hooker
  • Matai Leuta – Fullback
  • Benny Mateialona – Scrumhalf
  • Huluholo Moungaloa – Prop
  • Shalom Suniula – Scrumhalf
  • Alex Taefu – Scrumhalf
  • Veuki Taumoefolau – Flanker/No. 8
  • Sani Taylor – Wing/Center
  • Jojo Tikoisuva – Wing
  • Tesimoni Tongauia- Forward
  • Sione Tu’ihalamaka- Forward
  • Tai Tuisamoa – Lock
  • Saia Uhila – Center
  • Ekapatelisio Veamatahau – Flanker/No.8
  • Lolenisi Veimau- Hooker

Saracens Roster:

  • Chris Ashton – Wing
  • Richard Barrington – Prop
  • Brad Barritt – Center
  • Marcelo Bosch – Center, Flyhalf, Fullback
  • Schalk Brits – Hooker
  • Kelly Brown – Backrow
  • Schalk Burger – Backrow
  • Joel Conlan – Backrow
  • Petrus De Plessis – Tighthead prop
  • Neil DeKock – Scrumhalf
  • Nathan Earle – Wing
  • Mike Ellery – Wing
  • Owen Farrell – Flyhalf
  • Juan Figallo – Prop
  • Mark Flanagan – Lock
  • Will Fraser – Backrow
  • Jamie George – Hooker
  • Alex Goode – Fullback/Flyhalf
  • Jim Hamilton – Lock
  • Matt Hankin – Flanker
  • Maro Itoje – Lock/Backrow
  • Vincent Koch – Prop
  • George Kruls – Lock
  • Titi Lamositele – Prop
  • Alex Lazowaski – Flyhalf
  • Sean Maitland – Wing/Fullback
  • Michael Rhodes – Lock/Backrow
  • Jared Saunders – Hooker
  • Ben Spencer – Scrumhalf
  • Scott Spurling – Hooker
  • Tim Streather – Center
  • Duncan Taylor – Center/Wing
  • Henry Taylor – Scrumhalf
  • Nick Tomkins – Center
  • Billy Vunipola – No. 8
  • Mako Vunipola – Prop
  • Samuela Vunisa – Backrow
  • Richard Wigglesworth – Scrumhalf
  • Jackson Wray – Backrow
  • Chris Wyles – Wing

Saracens Coaching Staff

  • Mark McCall – Director of Rugby
  • Phil Morrow – Performance Director
  • Ian Peel – Scrum Coach
  • Alex Sanderson – Forwards Coach
  • Joe Shaw – Skills Coach
  • Kevin Sorrell – Backs Coach
  • Dan Vickers – Kicking Coach


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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant