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Overseas Stars Boost Eagles

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Overseas Stars Boost Eagles

Titi Lamositele has been playing some excellent rugby for Saracens, but gets a late release to face Uruguay for the USA. Judy Teasdale photo.

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay (USA Rugby Release) – The Men's Eagles squad for the final match of the inaugural Americas Rugby Championship has been selected, with several players coming back into the team for Saturday's match against Uruguay.

Premiership Rugby clubs Newcastle Falcons and Saracens released Todd Clever and Titi Lamositele, respectively, during the week leading up to the match at Estadio Charrúa, which will kick off at 3:15 p.m. ET. Clever will captain the side for the third time on tour after scoring four tries – including a hat trick against rival Canada – in three matches, while Lamositele will make his debut under Head Coach John Mitchell. The 19-year-old prop was initially named to the squad for at least one of the home matches in February, but was needed in England.

"Todd's leadership is at its best when he leads by example," Mitchell said. "This is a challenging situation for Titi, coming into a new situation, but also exciting that he has had a chance to see what we have started and to get back with his American mates."

The U.S. suffered its first loss of the Mitchell era last weekend in São Paulo, where host Brazil took an early lead and overcame a last-minute deficit for a 24-23 victory. Aladdin Schirmer made his debut in the match wearing the No. 7 shirt, but will wear No. 6 beside Clever in Montevideo.

Ben Landry, Brodie Orth, and David Tameilau retain their starting spots in the pack for the fifth consecutive match, with Rugby World Cup 2015 props Eric Fry and Lamositele outside Mike Sosene-Feagai in the front row.

Also called back into the squad having been absent in Brazil are Deion Mikesell and Lorenzo Thomas. The Lindenwood University pair was in the AIG Men's Junior All-Americans' starting XV for the World Rugby U20 Trophy qualifier against Canada before earning the call-up to the senior side ahead of the Chile shutout. Thomas scored in his debut, and Mikesell will have the opportunity to follow in his teammate's footsteps, lining up on the wing opposite Tim Stanfill. Thomas replaces veteran Andrew Suniula in the centers with Chad London playing inside the student-athlete.

JP Eloff and Mike Te'o have demonstrated their versatility in the half backs and at full back, while the latter created several scoring opportunities against Brazil last weekend as a substitute winger. Te'o will lead the attack from the scrum half position – where he played in the defeat of Canada in the ARC's second week – with fly half James Bird, and Eloff will give the team cover at full back.

Nate Brakeley played his way into a starting role with the Eagles in Texas and Florida as an injury replacement on tour, and left his Northeast Academy sevens team in Las Vegas to rejoin the national team in South America.

The Eagles led the ARC standings heading into last week's loss, and now need a slip-up from table-topping Argentina this weekend – as well as to take care of business against Uruguay – for a chance at the inaugural competition trophy.

The two nations last met in a Rugby World Cup 2015 Qualifier series in 2014, with the Uruguayans defending home turf with a draw before the Eagles booked their trip to England with a win in Atlanta. The Eagles had scored at least four tries and a total of 18 prior to the Brazil defeat, in which they scored three.

"We are both developing," Mitchell said. "They go to space with the ball on attack better than us at the moment, and their ball is quicker.

"Our style is in its early stages of its development – what you witnessed in last week's performance is in conflict with where we want our attack to be; we went back to the old way."

Ths game kicks off 3:15 pm on ESPN3

Men's Eagles | v. Uruguay 
1. Eric Fry 
2. Mike Sosene-Feagai 
3. Titi Lamositele 
4. Brodie Orth 
5. Ben Landry 
6. Aladdin Schirmer 
7. Todd Clever (C) 
8. David Tameilau 
9. Mike Te'o 
10. James Bird 
11. Tim Stanfill 
12. Chad London 
13. Lorenzo Thomas 
14. Deion Mikesell 
15. JP Eloff

Men's Eagles | Reserves 
16. Joseph Taufete'e 
17. Olive Kilifi 
18. Demecus Beach 
19. Nate Brakeley 
20. Hanco Germishuys 
21. Niku Kruger 
22. Ryan Matyas 
23. Jake Anderson

Uruguay | v. USA 
1. Mateo Sanguinetti 
2. Germán Kessler 
3. Mario Sagario 
4. Gonzalo Soto 
5. Diego Magno 
6. Juan Gaminara 
7. Juan Diego Ormaechea 
8. Alejandro Nieto 
9. Agustín Ormaechea 
10. Menual Blengio 
11. Gastón Mieres 
12. Andrés Vilaseca 
13. Pedro Deal 
14. Leandro Leivas 
15. Rodrigo Silva

Uruguay | Reserves 
16. Germán Kessler 
17. Facundo Gattas 
18. Juan Echeverría 
19. Mathías Palomeque 
20. Mathías Beeer 
21. Alberto Román 
22. Guillermo Lijtenstein 
23. Federico Favaro