Utahns left off Eagles touring squad

BOULDER, Colo. – The USA Rugby Men’s Eagles squad will depart Sunday for a three-week tour in Wales and Romania. The Eagles are scheduled to play matches against Russia, Tonga and Romania while overseas, with additional training sessions scattered throughout the tour. The squad will return home on Nov. 25.

The Eagles are positive heading into the tour, as they return most of their core group of players from the summer. The team has a strong record against Russia, one that includes victories in the 2011 Churchill Cup and 2011 World Cup. Tonga came out on top in last year’s Churchill Cup, so the Eagles will be looking for revenge in their second match. Meanwhile, Romania sits only one spot behind the Eagles in the current IRB rankings, setting up a key matchup in the final game of the tour.

“We hope to pick up from some of the strides we made in summer,” said head coach Mike Tolkin. “We feel the team systems and culture have taken root and that we can play with more confidence. Our goal is to try to win the series.”

The tour will provide players a chance to solidify their positions heading into next summer, as well as gain valuable experience on the national team.

“We look forward to seeing the new players on the squad show what they can do at this level, and we hope they can add value,” said Tolkin. “We also look for the squad veterans to take leadership positions and play fundamentally sound and exciting rugby, with an uncompromising mental toughness.”

Samu Manoa, an important player for the Eagles, is suffering from a minor shoulder injury and will not participate in the tour. Additionally, Mike Petri will join the team late, on Nov. 7.

Schedule

Eagles vs. Russia: 
Friday, Nov. 9
Eirias Park 
Conwy County, Wales,
 noon (MST)
Eagles vs. Tonga: 
Saturday, Nov.17
Eirias Park 
Conwy County, Wales,
 noon (MST)
Eagles vs. Romania: 
Saturday, Nov. 24
Stadionul National de Rugby Arcul de Triumf 
Bucharest, Romania
, Time TBA

USA EAGLES FALL TOUR SQUAD:

Derek Asbun  (Rosslyn Park RFC – RFU)
Inaki Basauri  (Tarbes Pyrenees Rugby – France)
Chris Biller  (Not Attached)
Chris Chapman  (New York Athletic Club)
Todd Clever  (NTT Shining Arcs – JRFU)
Peter Dahl  (Belmont Shore RFC)
Cornelius Dirksen  (Life University)
Brian Doyle  (New York Athletic Club)
Paul Emerick  (London Wasps – RFU)
Zach Fenoglio  (Glendale Raptors RFC)
Eric Fry  (Manawatu Turbos – NZ)
Graham Harriman  (Chicago Griffins RFC)
Luke Hume  (Old Blue RFC)
Scott LaValla  (Stade Francais – France)
Toby L’Estrange   (New York Athletic Club)
Gearoid McDonald  (Old Belvedere RFC – IRFU)
Takudzwa Ngwenya  (Biarritz – France)
Zach Pangelinan  (OMBAC)
Mike Petri  (New York Athletic Club)
Shawn Pittman  (Not Attached)
Anthony Purpura  (Boston RFC)
John Quill  (Boston RFC)
Robbie Shaw  (Richmond RFC – RFU)
Louis Stanfill  (Vicenza Gers, Italy)
Andrew Suniula  (Chicago Griffins)
Roland Suniula  (FC Auch Gers France)
Nicholas Wallace  (St. Mary’s)

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