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Regulation 9 Still a Issue for Maori Game

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Regulation 9 Still a Issue for Maori Game

Pro clubs have to release players (such as Bristol's Thretton Palamo), but they won't have to for the November 4 game against the Maori.

Regulation 9 in World Rugby says that clubs must release players who have been called up to international duty, but that rule only applies to specific times of the year.

The USA v. Maori All Blacks game at Toyota Park in Chicago on November 4 falls outside that window, and so, as was the case in February, and as was the case in 2014, USA Rugby has had to do some fancy dancing to balance the rosters.

Certain players will be able to get away from their pro clubs for the game in Chicago, but the tradeoff will be that they might not be available for one or both of the games against Romania and Tonga. That's one reason why the Eagles are expected to treat Blaine Scully and Todd Clever as co-captains, rather than have one player take that role.

So who will this affect? Samu Manoa, playing regularly for Toulon, and healthy once more, should be available for the European games, but the Chicago game it's unlikely. Titi Lamositele (Chuckanut U19s) is going to be a big part of the future of Saracens, but hasn't been playing a lot of late. He could well be in Chicago. Thretton Palamo (SFGG U19s, Utah) has been a regular player for Bristol, and you'd think they wouldn't want him to leave unless absolutely necessary. Blaine Scully (Cal) could well get away for Chicago, but he is an important part of the Cardiff Blues backline, and even scored a try this past weekend. Cam Dolan (Naples U19s, Life) has played less often at Cardiff, and would be a great addition to the USA team against the Maori.

Nick Civetta (Notre Dame and Cal) is yet to be capped by the USA, but he's getting a little bit of time with Newcastle, and you wonder if he's going to get a callup at some point, either in Chicago, or in the other games. At Sale, AJ MacGinty (Life University) has had significant time at flyhalf and he's just the sort of player a club would be unhappy to part with. Sale, however, doesn't have a game November 4-5.

Elsewhere, Greg Peterson has been playing a good amount at Glasgow, and Christian Ostberg (Stony Point HS, Life University) is at Aurillac and got a callup to the USA Selects. It might be a little early for him.

Chris Baumann (Wyoming) has been playing well for Wellington in the ITM Cup in New Zealand, but should have no problem being available. Taku Ngwenya (Plano HS, University of Dallas), an injury signing at Brive, might find that he's there precisely because there are international callups in November. Tony Lamborn at Hawke's Bay should be OK, too. Andrew Durutalo, who was playing for the Sunwolves in Super Rugby, should be available for Chicago.

That's just a small cross-section of what has become a long list of USA players and USA-eligible players now playing overseas. There are many more, but