USA Men's Squad Named for This Summer
USA Men's Squad Named for This Summer
USA Men's 15s Head Coach Gary Gold has named his traveling squad to face the French Barbarians and later play in the two-game World Cup Qualifier series with Chile.
Gold has named 30 players, with the group holding few players who are relatively new to Eagle action. The newer players are Michael Baska, currently playing with Rouen Normandie in France, Mitch Wilson, currently with the New England Free Jacks, and NOLA Gold back rower Moni Tonga’uiha. There players have all been on the radar for some time.
Notable among the more experienced players is Samu Manoa. The thundering forward now with the Seattle Seawolves had retired from international rugby. But Manoa is back in form and a massive reason why the Seawolves are into the Major League Rugby semifinals. He provides a much-needed injection of rampant physicality to the team. AJ MacGinty, who is wrapping up his five very successful at Sale Sharks and joining Bristol next season, is back and healthy and ready to go. Paul Lasike is another relatively unique player who is back in the squad after an injury hiatus.
The Eagles kick off this summer with an exciting match against the French Barbarians in Houston on July 1, before jetting off to Santiago for the first of a home-and-away series against Chile to compete for Rugby World Cup 2023 qualification. Gold and the Men’s Eagles coaching staff have been visiting and scouting MLR clubs over the past few months, similarly hosting a two-day alignment camp in early May to shortly assemble players and staff ahead of this summer’s penultimate games. Players will enter camp in Houston through a staggered entry as many continue to compete with their respective MLR, Premiership and Top 14 club competitions, with the full 30-man roster in assembly by week of the French Barbarians match.
Chile, meanwhile, will be playing Scotland in a warmup before the qualifier series. But that's not all for them. While the USA group plays separately in various professional teams—mostly, but not all, in the MLR—the Chilean team is essentially in constant assembly (with some exceptions) in the Súper Liga American de Rugby as Selknam, in which they played 12 games (regular season and playoffs) from March through May, finishing 2nd after they lost the May 27 final to Peñarol. (Peñarol, by the way, is essentially the Uruguayan national team which beat the USA in the qualifier series last year.) Chile's time together as a group is certainly an advantage.
“It’s been a tough selection process due to the level of improvement across the MLR and with many of our players playing so well," Gold said. "We are all really excited to eventually reassemble and spend time together as we prepare for an incredibly important summer. The games will prove a real challenge for us as a group, as we have a massive amount of respect for how well this Chile team has developed and improved.
“We have spent time as a coaching group with many of the clubs around MLR over the past few months, it has been a really good exercise as the level of coaching and feedback has been excellent. We were also able to have an alignment camp in Houston this past May, where we got our wider group of players together and we were able to lay out our plans and ideas for the French Barbarians and Chile. The camp afforded us an opportunity to spend two days with the group to agree on those plans and strategies, so that when we do assemble as a group we can hit the ground running and be more efficient.
“Our immediate goals are to get the squad in as soon as possible, post all player commitments, and to become aligned as a group as soon as possible as we don’t have a massive amount of time before the first game is upon us..”
|USA MEN’S EAGLES 2022 SUMMER SERIES TRAVELING SQUAD|
|Name||Position||Club||US HS / College|
|David Ainu’u||Prop||Toulouse (FRA)||Liberty Patriots (WA) /|
|Malon Al-Jiboori||Backrow||Houston Sabercats||Union HS (OK) / Lindenwood|
|Nate Augspurger||Scrumhalf / Wing||San Diego Legion||Southside (MN) / Minnesota|
|Michael Baska||Scrumhalf||Rouen Normandie (FRA)||St. Thomas Aq. (KS) / Ark St., Lindenwood|
|Ben Bonasso||Backrow||Rugby New York|
|Marcel Brache||Fullback / Center||Austin Gilgronis|
|Nate Brakeley||Lock||Rugby New York||St. John's (MA) / Dartmouth|
|Bryce Campbell||Center||Austin Gilgronis||Royal Irish (IN) / Indiana|
|Luke Carty||Flyhalf||LA Giltinis|
|Nick Civetta||Lock||Rugby New York||/ U. Notre Dame|
|Ruben de Haas||Scrumhalf||Saracens (ENG)||Junior Stormers (AR) /|
|Cam Dolan||No. 8||NOLA Gold||Naples (FL) / Life|
|Christian Dyer||Wing||Houston Sabercats||Jesuit (CA) / Cal|
|Hanco Germishuys||Backrow||LA Giltinis||Westside (NE) /|
|Will Hooley||Fullback / Flyhalf||San Diego Legion|
|Martin Iosefo||Wing||Seattle Seawolves||Kona (HI) / Montana|
|Titi Lamositele||Prop||Montpelier (FRA)||Chuckanut (WA) /|
|Paul Lasike||Center||Utah Warriors||/ BYU|
|Tavite Lopeti||Center||Seattle Seawolves||Peninsula Green (CA) / Saint Mary's|
|AJ MacGinty||Flyhalf||Sale Sharks (ENG)||/ Life|
|Siaosi Mahoni||Lock||Houston Sabercats||Peninsula Green (CA) /|
|Samu Manoa||Lock||Seattle Seawolves||Diablo (CA) /|
|Paul Mullen||Prop||Utah Warriors|
|Greg Peterson||Lock||Newcastle Falcons (ENG)|
|Kapeli Pifeleti||Hooker||Saracens (ENG)|
|Mikey Sosene-Feagai||Hooker||Toulon (FRA)|
|Joe Taufete’e||Hooker / Prop||LA Giltinis||Belmont Shore (CA) /|
|Moni Tonga’uiha||Backrow||NOLA Gold||Oakland Warhogs (CA) / Life West|
|Chance Wenglewski||Prop||Rugby New York||Union HS (OK) / Lindenwood|
|Mitch Wilson||Wing||New England Free Jacks||/ Life University|
USA MEN’S EAGLES 2022 SUMMER SERIES MATCH SCHEDULE
Chile vs USA | Santiago, Chile | Rugby World Cup Qualifier
July 9, 2022 Time 6:00 PM ET at Estadio Santa Laura Universidad
Watch Live on FloRugby