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Eagles Picked to Face Brazil in Spain

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Eagles Picked to Face Brazil in Spain

Nate Brakeley, second from left, captains the USA against Brazil. Photo Hudson Randle.

Longtime Eagle Nate Brakeley will captain the USA in the opening match of the Vila International Rugby Cup in Alicante, Spain Saturday.

Brakeley, who played for St. John's HS in Massachusetts and Dartmouth College, will earn his 33rd cap and start in the second row for the Eagles. Nate Augspurger (Southside HS, University of Minnesota) starts at wing and will be vice captain. Head Coach Scott Lawrence has named a more heavily-USA-developed team than we saw earlier this year.

Of the starting 15, nine played high school rugby in the USA, and 13 in the gameday 23. The numbers are the same for US college rugby (with a couple of differences in terms of players). Of the players that didn't play HS rugby in the US, two are from American Samoa. 

Toulouse prop David Ainu'u (Liberty HS, Washington) gets to suit up for the USA again after playing against them in September. Joseph Mano is set to make his test debut for the USA. Mano played for the Samoa 7s team but World Rugby's rule allowing a player to make one switch to a nation they qualify for is in play here. Mano was born in American Samoa which makes him USA eligible. Dom Besag, who was called up from the USA U20 team and earned his first cap this past summer against Georgia, will likely get his second off the bench.

“We’ve had two competitive weeks here in Spain together and we believe we’ve picked a team that fits the game plan in place for Brazil," said Lawrence. "We’ve been apart for a few weeks, so bringing the team cohesion back while improving the relationships amongst everyone on tour has been the main focus. Expect to see the Eagles play with the same energy, positivity, and enthusiasm that is now being encoded as an integral part of the Eagle DNA.”

Brazil is the next team on the list of South American national teams dead-set on improving and moving up the levels. The Brazilians pushed the USA in Round Rock, Texas in the Americas Rugby Championship in 2019. The Eagles won that game 33-28 but it was pretty clear that the Americans took Brazil too lightly.


USA Men Lineup to face Brazil
Name Club Caps
1. Jack Iscaro Old Glory DC 5
2. Dylan Fawsitt New York Ironworkers 25
3. Alex Maughan MLR (Los Angeles) 1
4. Nate Brakeley (C) New York Ironworkers 32
5. Cam Dolan NOLA Gold 66
6. Sam Golla Dallas Jackals 3
7. Paddy Ryan Coventry (UK) 3
8. Luke White Chicago Hounds 3
9. Nick McCarthy Chicago Hounds 3
10. Luke Carty Chicago Hounds 14
11. Nate Augspurger (VC) San Diego Legion 39
12. Tommaso Boni Zebre (ITA) 2
13. Tavite Lopeti Seattle Seawolves 10
14. Joseph Mano Utah Warriors Debut
15. Chris Mattina Chicago Hounds 3
16. Peter Malcolm Seattle Seawolves 2
17. Jake Turnbull Seattle Seawolves 13
18. David Ainu’u Toulouse (FRA) 20
19. Viliami Helu San Diego Legion 4
20. Thomas Tu’avao Utah Warriors 3
21. Michael Baska Chicago Hounds 3
22. Dominic Besag St. Mary’s College 1
23. Lauina Futi Seattle Seawolves 2