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Eagles Name 23 to Face French Barbarians

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Eagles Name 23 to Face French Barbarians

Greg Peterson and Bryce Campbell are once again in the Eagles lineup. Ian Muir photo.

The USA Men’s Eagles have made their awaited return to camp this week in Houston, Texas as the team prepares for the beginning of the USA Rugby Summer Series presented by DAC.

Gary Gold’s squad will first take on the renowned French Barbarians under the lights of Aveva Stadium on Friday, July 1 at 7:30PM Central Time. This match marks the first ever trip to the United States for the French invitational side and an all-important preparatory game for the USA, as next week brings the beginning of a Rugby World Cup qualification series with Chile. Home to the Houston SaberCats of Major League Rugby, Aveva Stadium is expected to see a near sold out crowd with friends, family and fans for a unique battle of two hard-hitting teams. The USA vs French Barbarians will be streaming live on FloRugby.

Eagles Face Combination of Experience, Fire in French Barbarians

The French Barbarians are an invitational side playing a notoriously creative style of rugby, where the flashy nature of play is expected to be a unique opening run-out for the USA.

Working off lessons from the last assembly against Uruguay, the Eagles will look to match the fast-paced performance on the pitch and reignite chemistry as a USA squad following a full season of club play around the world. Team captain AJ MacGinty will also rejoin the roster after missing the Uruguay fixtures in October. The Barbarians bring a mix of talent to Houston this week, with a number of notable veterans joining some young flash.

Louis Piquamoles and Francois Trinh Duc headline the visiting roster, both having played on the Rugby World Cup runner-up French squad in 2011. A few players will find themselves back on the pitch against the USA as well, with Jefferson Poirot – a member of the 2019 Rugby World Cup team that faced the USA in Japan – and Damien Chouly who first played the USA all the way back in 2010 for the Churchill Cup. With this blend of skill and experience from the Barbarians, the Men’s Eagles will run into a unique combination of play that should make for an exciting night of premier rugby.

“It has been a short, but productive camp in Houston thus far," said USA Head Coach Gary Gold. "It’s great to have the team back together and solely focused on these important next few weeks. I’m excited to see the energy is high amongst the boys, to once again be playing rugby with each other and chase the goal of qualification we missed out on last fall.

Despite the exhibition nature of this match, we know the Barbarians will bring fast play and tenacity to the pitch, we’re ready to match that as we get in the right mindset for this tour. Kicking off this summer and qualification series in the win column against some experienced French names is exactly what we expect as a group this Friday.”

See the French Barbarians lineup in the image above left.

  USA vs French Barbarians Lineup  
Position Name Club
1 David Ainu’u Toulouse (FRA)
2 Kapeli Pifeleti Saracens (ENG)
3 Paul Mullen Utah Warriors
4 Nick Civetta Rugby New York
5 Greg Peterson Newcastle Falcons (ENG) 
6 Hanco Germishuys LA Giltinis
7 Moni Tonga’uiha NOLA Gold
8 Cam Dolan NOLA Gold
9 Ruben de Haas Saracens (ENG)
10 AJ MacGinty (C) Sale Sharks (ENG)
11 Mitch Wilson New England Free Jacks
12 Bryce Campbell Austin Gilgronis
13 Tavite Lopeti Seattle Seawolves
14 Christian Dyer Houston SaberCats
15 Marcel Brache Austin Gilgronis
     
  Reserves  
16 Mikey Sosene-Feagai Toulon (FRA) 
17 Chance Wenglewski Rugby New York
18 Joe Taufete’e LA Giltinis
19 Siaosi Mahoni Houston SaberCats
20 Ben Bonasso Rugby New York
21 Nate Augspurger San Diego Legion
22 Paul Lasike Utah Warriors
23 Luke Carty LA Giltinis

USA MEN’S EAGLES TRAVELING STAFF

Head Coach | Gary Gold
Asst Coach | Stephen Brett
Asst Coach | Shawn Pittman
Asst Coach | Scott Lawrence
Head of Strength & Conditioning | Huw Bevan
Strength & Conditioning | Calvin Morris
Performance Analyst | Jimmy Harrison
Team Doctor | Mark Sakr
Head Physiotherapist | Kristen Douhan
Athletic Trainer | Ron Klingensmith
Sports Massage Therapist | Daliah Hurwitz
Team Manager | Oscar Alvarez