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Americans Overseas: Proving It

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Americans Overseas: Proving It

Riri Lamositele now is at Montpellier.

It's a long weekend in the USA but American pro rugby players overseas have been relatively active, and strangely most of their teams were involved in nailbiter games.

France

The Top 14 opened its season; Titi Lamositele made his Montpellier league debut starting at tighthead prop for the South of France team. Montpellier lost 26-23 to Section Paloise, but still this is an important step forward for Lamositele. The former Chuckanut Bay (Ferndale, Wash.) HS player has been with Saracens these last several years, inching his way up from Academy player to newcomer to getting relatively regular game time. Now, signing with Montpellier, it looks like he's going to be a main fixture in the front row.

Joe Teufete'e (Belmont Shore U19s) did not make his debut for his new club, Lyon, with Lyon losing 27-23 to Racing 92. And yet another West Coast front-rower, David Ainu'u (Liberty HS, Wash.) also did not suit up as Toulouse lost 33-30 to ASM Clermont.

In France's Pro D2, former Iowa HS product and Lindenwood All American Deion Mikesel has signed with Carcassone, but their game with Rouen Normandie was called off because the Normandy team had several players test positive for COVID-19. But Mikesell, who has been capped by the USA, is an intriguing addition to the Southern French team.

Gallagher Premiership

AJ MacGinty is a star and he showed it this weekend, scoring a try and kicking 14 points for Sale as the Sharks held off Leicester 40-31. MacGinty's biggest play may well have been when we caught an offload offhis bootlaces, falling as he did so. The play kept a promising attacking move going and Sale scored a try right after. He set up another try with a catch-and-pass off a low ball that wasn't quite as impressive but also crucial.

The USA flyhalf has Sale in 2nd place in the Premiership.

Paul Lasike showed his ability as an impact player off the bench for Harlequins, and then as a starter as the former BYU All American has five tries for Quins this season. Saturday he came off the bench in his team's 41-27 loss to Bath and was effective again. In 31 minutes Lasike out-gained, out-tackled, and out-eluded the two starting centers on his team. Admittedly, these stats don't tell the whole story of a player's effectiveness, but it's noticeable just the same.

Super Rugby

Marcel Brache was back on the field as the Western Force wrapped up their final weekend of play, losing 34-30 to the Melbourne Rebels. The USA back played on the left wing, gaining 42 meters on 10 carries, with six tackles.