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Midwest All-Stars, Ontario Prepare for Tussle

Saturday Aug 22, 2009 in Elite Level Rugby All-Stars

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The Midwest Thunderbirds have named their 22 to take on a strong Ontario select side Saturday in Elkhart, Ind.

This game serves as a showcase for the Midwesterners hoping to garner attention for the USA A side set to play in the Americas Rugby Championships in October. Meanwhile Ontario is gearing up for the four-team ARC preliminaries in Canada.

Thirty-four men from around the Midwest gathered in Elkhart for a three-day camp to prepare for this weekend’s match, and head coach Graeme Leask has settled on his 22. They include USA prop Mate Moeakiola, who just recently moved to Pearl City from Utah, as well as former USA U18 captain Conrad Bontrager at No.8. Also from Pearl City is Taylor Welch, who was the first American-born to play professional rugby league in England. Welch, 20, suits up at fullback.

Midwest Thunderbirds
1 Mate Moeakiola (Pearl City & USA Eagles)
2 Keith Bowen (Griffins)
3 Jeremy Drake (Pearl City)
4 Craig Clark (Blaze)
5 Tony Schenke (Wolfhounds)
6 Sam Wier (Pearl City)
7 Mike Bunce (Pearl City)
8 Conrad Bontrager (Michiana)
9 Matt Trenary (Grand Rapids)
10 Andrew Martin (Akron)
11 Shawn Grobler (Wolfhounds)
12 Joel Bennett (Michiana)
13 Dan Hetrick (Grand Rapids)
14 Danny Norris (Grand Rapids)
15 Taylor Welch (Pearl City)

Reserves
Frey Hatfield (Michiana)
David "Cartman" Scott (Grand Rapids)
Kudzai Muzorewa (Dayton)
Ben Smith (Milwaukee West Side Harlequins)
Justin Hickey (Grand Rapids)
Marvin Schaefer (Lake County)
Kevin Kreger (Detroit Tradesmen)

The T-Birds are expecting a strong battle up front with the Ontario Blues, who are led by international front-rowers Dan and Mike Pletch, and goalkicking fullback Steve Piatek.

Ontario Blues
1 Dan Pletch, Lucan, ON; Oakville
2 Mike Pletch, Lucan, ON, Velox RFC
3 Doug Woolridge, Lindsay, ON, Lindsay
4 Rob Brouwer, Lindsay, ON, Lindsay
5 Scott Dunham, Toronto, ON, Balmy Beach
6 Allistair Clark, Oakville, ON, Oakville
7 John Moonlight, Pickering ON, University of Victoria
8 Mark MacSween, Toronto, ON, Balmy Beach
9 Colin Brown, Toronto, ON, Oakville
10 Shawn Windsor, Stoney Creek, ON, Stoney Creek
11 Hugh McDonnell, Brantford, ON, Brantford
12 Steve Shortly, Peterborough ON, Aurora
13 Mike Scholz, Oakville, ON, Oakville
14 Joshua Campbell, Belleville, ON, Irish Canadians
15 Steve Piatek, Brantford, ON, Brantford

Reserves: Dave Neill, Brantford; Devin Stubel, Brantford; Brett Beukeboom, Lindsay; Keegan Selby, Brantford; Haddon Murray, Balmy Beach; Adam Schouten, Brantford; Dan West, Oakville

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