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USA Selects Player Pool Named

Thursday Sep 10, 2009 in Elite Level Rugby National Teams

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(SFGG's Mile Pulu among the players. Dobson Images)

Boulder, Colo. - USA Rugby’s National Team Coach Eddie O’Sullivan has released the player pool for the all-new Americas Rugby Championship, which kicked off this week in Canada.

The USA Select XV player pool, which will assemble for the first time on October 4, has been selected by O’Sullivan and his staff, but will be coached by San Francisco Golden Gate’s Head Coach Paul Keeler.

O’Sullivan has chosen an initial squad of 31 players, but with a restriction in place to allow only 23 to travel to Toronto, the squad will be narrowed down at that time.

“Fortunately, everyone will be able to play within the course of those two games,” O’Sullivan explained. “This is a great opportunity for guys who didn’t make it in to this summer’s Eagles pool to be seen by our national coaching staff and qualify for the November assemblies. It allows us a look through the depth chart.”

Replacing the IRB North America 4, the Americas Rugby Championship is intended to provide a competitive platform between domestic and international rugby.

A key component of the IRB's Strategic Investment Program, the new Championship will feature six teams, four Canadian provinces along with the Argentina Jaguars and the USA Select XV side and aims to unite rugby in North and South America in a high performance sub-international structure for the first time.

“The introduction of Argentina and possible expansion to include other teams in the future is an exciting expansion of our cross-border aspirations for the event,” CEO and President of Rugby Nigel Melville said. “The ARC will provide Eagles head coach Eddie O’Sullivan and his coaches with an opportunity to observe and work with domestically-based potential Eagles players prior to the important November international window.”

The four Canadian teams will play in a round robin format with the top two meeting in the semifinals. The other semifinal on October 10, will pit the Jaguars against the USA Select XV side at Glendale’s Infinity Park in Colorado.

“In my opinion and having been to Argentina, they have the best rugby culture in the world,” Select XV Coach Paul Keeler said. “So to play a side from Argentina is very exciting. Their passion for the game is second to none. And on behalf of myself and the coaching staff, we are all really looking forward to working with the players selected. They are a strong representation of American rugby and include a great mix of athleticism and experience and should give us the ability to compete.”

USA Selects Player Pool
Forwards: Chris Baumann (Life University), Chris Biller (California) Peter Dahl (Belmont Shore RFC), Patrick Danahy (Life University), Brian Doyle (New York Athletic Club RFC), Nate Ellis (Chicago Lions), Jason Englebrecht (Dallas Harlequins), Kevin Erskine (San Francisco Golden Gate), Nic Johnson (Denver Barbarians RFC), Daniel LaPrevotte (San Francisco Golden Gate), Mate Moeakiola (Pearl City RFC), Samuela Manoa (San Francisco Golden Gate RFC), Shawn. Pittman (Bayside RFC), Jacob Sprague (Boston Irish Wolfhounds), Louis Stanfill (New York Athletic Club Rugby), Phil Theil (Life University) Ben Wiedemer (Belmont Shore RFC)

Tai Enosa (Pearl City RFC), Maximo DeAchaval (Denver Barbarians), Nicholas Edwards (New York Athletic Club RFC), Nese Malifa (Belmont Shore RFC), Benny. Mateialona (Life University), Leonard Peters (Gentlemen of Aspen), Milemoti Pulu (San Francisco Golden Gate RFC), Dallas Robinson (Unattached), Volney Rouse (San Francisco Golden Gate), Roland Suniula (Pearl City RFC), Shalom Suniula (Pearl City RFC), Kevin Swiryn (Old Puget Sound Beach RFC)

(Plus two others to be named later)

Nolte Coetz, Hanno Dirksen, Cameron Dolan, J.J. Gagiano, Colin Hawley, Brian Lemay, Mike Palefau, Alec Parker, Mike Petri, Rikus Pretorius, Pat Quinn, Casey Rock, Junior Sifa, Pate Tuilevaku, John Van der Giessen.

Coaching Staff
Head Coach: Paul Keeler (Emeryville, Calif.)
Asst.Forwards:  Eugene Mountjoy (North Dighton, Mass.)
Asst. Backs: Jason Kelly (Henderson, Nev.)
Skills Coach: Paule Barford (Alpharetta, Ga.)
Manager: Tristan Lewis (Chicago, Ill.)

Match schedule
September 7 – Atlantic (The Rock) 31, Prairies (Wolf Pack) 23
September 12 - Ontario (Blues) v BC (Bears)
September 19- BC (Bears) v Atlantic (The Rock)
September 19- Prairies (Wolf Pack) v Ontario (Blues)
September 26 - Prairies (Wolf Pack) v BC (Bears)
September 26 - Atlantic (The Rock) v Ontario (Blues)

October 10 - Canada 2 v Canada 1
October 10 - Argentina Jaguars v USA Selects

October 17- Loser SF1 v Loser SF2
October 17 - Winner SF1 v Winner SF2

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