The Eagles World Cup squad is named

Eagles Head Coach, Eddie O’Sullivan, has released his preliminary 50-man squad ahead of the Rugby World Cup in September.

“With the World Cup less than three months away we have put together an extended pool of players from which the final Eagles Squad of 30 players will emerge,” said O’Sullivan.

The names were submitted to the International Rugby Board as part of a requirement of Rugby World Cup planning. Each rugby union will then select their final squad of 30 players by the August 22 deadline.

O’Sullivan has had an opportunity to watch half of this squad in the recent Churchill Cup competition. Several players certainly impressed in the 32-25 victory over Russia, putting up their hands for RWC inclusion.

“The players who made the Churchill Cup Squad have the advantage of having been in camp together for the past three weeks,” said O’Sullivan, “But there are players who missed the Churchill Cup for various reasons.

With a busy July of fitness training ahead and three warm-up games in August, there will be plenty of opportunities for players to impress before we select the final RWC Squad near the end of August.”

The preliminary squad consists of 26 forwards and 24 backline players.

The Eagles will next assemble at the end of July, before taking on Canada on August 6 (BMO Field, Toronto, Canada) and August 13 (Infinity Park, Glendale, Colo.). The USA will then travel to Tokyo to play against Japan on August 21. Read more of this post

Clever Game: Eagles With The Win

Ian Muir Photo

This was a highly anticipated game. This was the match to watch as a preview for the 2011 Rugby World Cup. USA Wins it!  32-25 win over Russia! Try Time coming from Paul Emerick, Andrew Suniula, Todd Clever, and Tai Enosa.  Man of the Match: Nese Malifa.

Clever showed up as a true captain in this match, providing key tackles and capitalizing on a missed pass by Russia for a daring try! This is was exactly the type of leadership that the Eagles were looking for. Meanwhile, Nese Malifa provided a glorious foot and supplied key passes throughout the match. Great team work from all of the boys. Cal Golden Bears Alumni in full force out on the pitch today as well: Louis Stanfill, Chris Biller, Blaine Scully. Hawley & Fry.

 The Eagles look to hold a huge psychological advantage over Russia going into the world cup, winning the last 3 matches against them including this match at The Churchill Cup.

For the full recap: Click Here!

Highlights Below:

Who Wants It More?

Churchill Cup Finals

USA Vs. Russia

June 18, 2011

LIVE 7:00 am ET

UniversalSports.com/rugby

Twitter: @usrugbynz for Live Updates

Salty: U.S. rugby is on the move

Guinness or Genius? Well, maybe. Rugby veteran and international player? Yes. U.S. Eagles Coach with years of experience? Yes. A healthy appetite for a few pints of Guinness? Most Definitely!

Click For Bio

USRUGBYNZ.com catches up with Salty Thompson,       U.S. All-American High School coach, fresh from a weekend of recruiting and recent return from the Collegiate Rugby Cup in Philadelphia.

USRUGBYNZ.com: From the reactions we got, the Sevens tournament was a huge success all across the board. Its coverage dwarfed the USA Eagles game that week in England. Quite amazing! Why do you think it got so much attention? Will it have an effect on Olympic 7′s?

Salty: The Sevens on NBC was a big deal. NBC as the Olympic network really promoted the Olympic inclusion in 2016. Their production is first class and they’ve really helped get the game some profile. Average people are seeing 7s and talking about it.

USRUGBYNZ.com: Will this increase attention for U.S. Rugby in a public sense and are you seeing growth in rugby as whole across the states?

Salty: I just came back from recruiting the Midwest Age Grade Select tournaments (the best high school players representing Illinois, Indiana, Iowa). The growth in high school rugby is phenomenal across the country. This coming weekend we have selectors at All Star playoffs in Denver, Pittsburgh, Seattle (central Washington). We use these events to select for the USA High School All American camps and eventual games.

USRUGBYNZ.com: Not sure if you’ve been following the Eagles at the Churchill Cup this past week, suffering grueling defeats from both England Saxons and Tonga. As an international player and Eagles coach on many levels, any comments on their play? Things they are or aren’t doing?

Salty: The Eagles have struggled in the Churchill Cup. The gap between domestic and international competition is huge at all levels. We are comparable in our world rankings at both, age and grade, u20s and senior Eagles. Countries put a huge emphasis on playing internationals while we are often held back by a number of factors.

USRUGBYNZ.com: Is this a preview for the World Cup? They are scheduled to play Russia this weekend, any predictions? What do they need to work on before this game? This game is getting a lot of hype and is a precursor for their World Cup match-up, what would be your game plan coming into this match?

Salty: You can watch the USA u20s v Russia at www.irb.com. This was a close loss to Russia in Georgia at the World Trophy. I expect a similar close contest between the Eagles and the Russian men. Russia has made significant progress in 7s recently where we still have a better pedigree. They are attracting better athletes, as we are. I coached against them in 2007 in the World Juniors and we won 6-0 with a good team captained by Scott Lavalla and Shawn Pittman, current Eagles (player) Zack Test was also on that team. Should be an interesting game!

USRUGBYNZ.com: Cheers Salty! And the Eagles will meet the Russian Bear in the Bowl final of the Churchill Cup on Saturday, June 18, in England. Check our Twitter feed @usrugbynz for updates of the game and www.universalsports.com as well for paid coverage. Here is a little refresher of last year’s match up:

Eagles wilt against Tonga

While USA Eagles kept it close in the first half – and even had the chance to go ahead before the whistle – Tonga pulled away in the second to hand the Eagles their second defeat of the Churchill Cup.

Viliami Iongi scored four tries himself and almost single handedly nailed shut the Eagles Churchill Cup coffin. Paul Emerick was the lone try scorer for the U.S.

The 44-13 loss was a disappointment, as the Eagles fielded a stronger team for this fixture.The Eagles will have one more game on Saturday – against yet-to-be-named opponents – to salvage something useful out of this tournament.

Adrian Pratt, Rugby USA

Petri named captain for Churchill Cup

Michael Petri is set to captain the Eagles in their 2011 Churchill Cup opener on Saturday against England Saxons. You can see the full roster here.

Kickoff is at 12 p.m. ET and the game will be live on Universal Sports.com and on tape delay at 4 p.m. ET

Starting on June 4, don’t miss the Churchill Cup LIVE @ 12pm ET / 9am PT online for FREE only on Universal Sports. Check for the full TV schedule and make sure to “Like” Facebook.com/UniversalSports.

Courtesy of USA Rugby

O’SULLIVAN PLEASED WTH DOMESTIC PLAYER CAMP

CHULA VISTA, Calif. – Eagles Head Coach, Eddie O’Sullivan, was extremely pleased with his squad at the recent camp held at the Olympic Training Center (OTC) in San Diego. The camp was the first for the Eagles fifteens team in their preparations for the 2011 Rugby World Cup in September.

EaglesXV Domestic Camp Credit: USA Rugby and EaglesXV.com

During the camp, held from May 4-8, the players had several chances to impress O’Sullivan, the most obvious opportunity being a controlled scrimmage on the Saturday afternoon.

“It was a very successful camp for us. The players really applied themselves, with us getting seven very tough sessions done between Thursday and Sunday,” O’Sullivan said.

With the Rugby World Cup only months away, this domestic camp proved a valuable selection tool for O’Sullivan and his coaching staff.

Newly appointed technical experts Fiore Screnci (Scrum Coach) and Chris O’Brien (Kicking Coach) had a chance to work with the 35 players, while Matt Sherman (Backs Coach), Dave Hodges (Forwards Coach) and Mike Tolkin (Defensive Coach) imparted their expertise to the group.

“The work ethic was excellent and we got a lot of quality reps done. We also got a lot of information that we didn’t have before, particularly some of the new players,” said O’Sullivan, “The next job now is to pick the Churchill Cup pool.”

The Eagles will travel to England in June to compete in the 2011 Churchill Cup, where they will take on the England Saxons (June 4) and Tonga (June 8), before the Elimination round (June 18).

The Eagles’ Churchill Cup opponents will be challenging and so too will be their training and match schedule.

“We hit the ground on the 30th of May and have to play on the 4th of June. It’s then a very short turn-around till we play Tonga,” said O’Sullivan.

The coach will select his Churchill Cup team over the next few weeks. Read more of this post

This Eagle has deep Kiwi roots



The Waimea Old Boys Rugby Football Club.
Junior Sifa. Photo credit: The Waimea Old Boys Rugby Football Club.

Junior Sifa, who helped the USA Eagles qualify for the Rugby World Cup with a try against Uruguay, moved to New Zealand when he was nine. A former Nelson Bays player, Sifa is hoping to play in front of a hometown crowd when the U.S. take on Italy in Nelson on September 27 in the big tournament.

Due to injury, Sifa did not play for the Eagles against Georgia recently, but he told The Nelson Mail earlier last year he’s definitely got his eyes on the prize of the Rugby World Cup. As he was born in American Samoa, Sifa, 27, was eligible to play for not only the Eagles, but also the All Blacks and Samoa.

The New Zealand Herald wrote a nice little story about Sifa and about the Italian team, who will be making Nelson their home for much of the Rugby World Cup.

You can read it here.

Georgia Edges Out Eagles in Final Seconds

Georgia Edges Out Eagles in Final Seconds 19-17. Click through for image source.

Georgia Edges Out Eagles in Final Seconds 19-17. Photo credit usarugby.org.

TBLISI, Georgia – The Eagles narrowly missed out on a sweep of their 2010 test matches in a nail-biter against Georgia.  It was a physical and close encounter between the USA and hosts Georgia, with a vibrant crowd of 35,000 packed into National Stadium in Tbilisi.  The Eagles looked like they would stave off Georgia, but a last minute Georgian try and conversion pulled the home team ahead with a final score of 17-19.

Eagles Head Coach Eddie O’Sullivan knew that the American defense was solid and physical.  Against Georgia, the Eagles employed an all out tactical blitz.  O’Sullivan’s Eagles kept the Georgians guessing in all aspects of the game, especially on attack.

A versatile group of loose forwards, Todd Clever, Inaki Basauri, and Louis Stanfill, popped around the scrums and line outs, never letting the Georgians get a good read on the American set-piece.  The American pack would keep the Georgians off-rhythm at line outs as well and were dictating pace in all aspects of forward play.

Read more of this post