Checking in With North Americans Overseas
Friday Jul 31, 2009 in Elite Level Rugby Overseas Pros
(Salesi Sika back at Castres)
The fall season for North Americans playing overseas is fast approaching, and of course has started for some in the Southern Hemisphere.
USA captain Todd Clever got his first taste of Currie Cup a week ago, stepping on a sub on the wing, of all places.
“Not ideal but it was great just being out there,” Clever told ERugbyNews. “I had a few touches of the ball and we won with a bonus point so it was happy days.”
Clever will not be in the lineup this weekend, as he still needs to recover from a hectic USA campaign and is working on bulking up for the grueling Currie Cup campaign. He is expected to play against Boland on Friday, August 7.
Also in South Africa, Chad Erskine is with Eastern Province in the Currie Cup DI. They do not play this weekend.
Currently, there are 40 North Americans playing professionally or in other serious-level competitions overseas (17 American, 23 Canadian). Among those who have made moves, previous USA flanker Inaki Basauri, who struggled for playing time with Agen, has moved to Lannemezan, newly promoted to France’s Pro D2.
USA scrumhalf has switched from Esher to Bristol for the 2009-2010 season.
“Robbie Shaw will bring a running threat at scrumhalf and no will doubt learn a lot from Jason Spice,” said Bristol coach Paul Hull.
And Hanno Dirksen has moved from Truro College to the Swansea Academy. Word is former USA head coach Scott Johnson, who invited Dirksen to the academy, is grooming Dirksen to switch from the USA to Wales.
Johnson, who said when he left for the Ospreys job that he would do everything he could to help American players, apparently meant something other than what most assumed.
Meanwhile some other players are examining options. Paul Emerick is serving out his 10-week suspension, after which it’s expected he will have found a club to play for. USA prop Shawn Pittman, who played last season in Canada, is reported to be looking for a position overseas, and as a young tighthead he is in demand. Pat Danahy, who spent last season with Trinity in Ireland, is moving on.
North American players overseas (Red=Canadian, Blue=American)
Kevin Tkachuk - Glasgow Warriors
DTH Van der Merwe – Glasgow Warriors
Mike MacDonald – Prop – Leeds
Hayden Smith – Lock – Saracens
Chris Wyles – Wing/FB – Saracens
James Pritchard – Fullback - Bedford Blues
Scott Franklin – Prop - Cornish Pirates
Justin Mensah-Coker – Wing – Moseley
Bryn Keys – Centre - Moseley
Sean Michael Stephen – Back Row - Plymouth Albion
Tyler Hotson – Lock - Plymouth Albion
Stu Ault - Lock – Birmingham & Solihull
Ryan Tomlinson - Centre - Birmingham-Solihull
Oliver Atkinson – Lock – Coventry
Aaron Carpenter - #8 – Coventry
Phil MacKenzie – Wing - Coventry
Adam Kleeberger – Back Row - Rotherham Titans
English National Division One
Chuck Baumberg – Flyhalf – Esher
Robbie Shaw – Scrumhalf - Bristol
Tim Usasz – Scrumhalf - Nottingham
French Top 14
Jamie Cudmore - Clermont Auvergne
Takudzwa Ngwenya – Wing - Biarritz
Charles Sika - Wing - Castres
French Div 2
Inaki Basauri – Flanker - Lannemezan
Josh Jackson – Lock - Bordeaux-Begles
Luke Tait – Lock - Stade Montois
Italian Super 10
Phil Murphy – No. 8 – Viadana
Michael Barbieri – Prop – Benetton Treviso
Scott LaValla - Lock/Flanker/8 - Trinity
Will Johnson - Prop - Oxford
JJ Gagiani - Flanker - Cape Town University
Stan McKeen – Flanker – Oxford University Law
Matt Evans – Wing/FB - Hartpury College
Hanno Dirksen – Flyhalf/Center – Swansea Academy
Richard Townsend – Gloucester Academy/Hartpury College
- Alex Goff
Goff on Rugby | More articles in “Overseas Pros” | More articles in “Elite Level Rugby”
South Africa Currie Cup Premier
Todd Clever – Back Row – Xerox Lions
South Africa Currie Cup DI
Chad Erskine – Scrumhalf – Mighty Elephants
New Zealand Otago Premiership
Kelly Kolberg – Wing/Center - Harbour
Australia Queensland Premier
Mike Hercus – Flyhalf – Suncoast Stongrays
Australia Sydney Premier
Brian Doyle – Lock – Northern Suburbs