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Augspurger Relishes Chance to be Captain

National Teams

Augspurger Relishes Chance to be Captain

Nate Augspurger getting some attention against Russia last season. David Barpal photo.

Nate Augspurger made the decision after not making the Olympic Games first 12 to leave the USA 7s program, return to the Old Blue club, and concentrate on 15s.

Funny how life works out. The disappointment of not playing in Rio fueled Augspurger to work harder to make the 15s Eagles, which he did. And then, weirdness upon weirdness, he was moved from scrumhalf to wing. A demotion? A commentary that he wasn't doing the job in the #9 jersey? Not hardly, especially when Head Coach John Mitchell made him the captain last week.

For Augspurger, captaining the squad was a thrill, and also a game in which he showed his tackler-beating running style. Twice he broke free to set up what seemed to be tries only to be caled back because he (supposedly) stepped on the touchline. But overall Augspurger has unleashed that daring 7s approach on the 15s field as a wing, and a leader.

"It was great," the former University of Minnesota All American told Goff Rugby Report. "I loved being the one responsible for leading the team into a test match. It was not too much different than any other game in most aspects, especially as a scrumhalf - who has to be the chatty one out there. But nonetheless it is a memory I will keep personally and a real honor to be acknowledged as the captain."

Augspurger said he will be studying closely the second break that almost set up a try. The run was called back, but Augspurger isn't so sure it should have been.

"As a back, I wish we would have had an opportunity to join the scoring table. But the forwards made up for it by being the only try scorers of the game. Chile was a tough side, we knew they'd come firing on home soil. In the end we just stuck to our process and I was happy about the way we continue to put teams away late in games."