Eagles Prepare for 3 November Test Matches

Eagles_novTest_Story

Photo Courtesy of USA Rugby and Judy Teasdale

The November 2013 test series is around the corner and U.S. men’s head coach Mike Tolkin has called in his 33-player squad for the 3 matches.  The Eagles will host the New Zealand Maori All Blacks at Philadelphia’s PPL Park Nov. 9 before traveling to Europe to face Georgia on Nov. 16 and Russia on Nov. 23.

26-players will come together in Pennsylvania next week to begin preparations.  The side includes the roster for the opening match includes professionals playing overseas, Todd Clever – NTT Communications Shining Arcs, Scott LaValla – Stade Francais, Titi Lamositele – Saracens, and Andrew Suniula – London Wasps.

European-based Eric Fry – London Scottish, Blaine Scully – Leicester Tigers, and Chris Wyles – Saracens will join the team for the second and third matches.

“I think that any team has to be prepared for all circumstances,” Tolkin said of the selection. “Whenever you can get depth like that you’re more prepared for any circumstance that comes your way.”

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The Eagles are coming off a difficult stretch having lost their last 7 matches.  But the side can take positives from a successful showing at the IRB Americas Rugby Championship in October.  A large number of the players on the current roster represented the Eagles Select XV in a second place finish that included wins against Canada and Uruguay.

And they can look back to a great run during the 2012 Autumn tests series.  The Eagles won last year’s series with wins over Romania and Russia. It was the first time in a decade the Eagles had won a test series.

“Last year we were certainly thinner,” Tolkin went on to say. “We had a good tour and guys played well, but we were a lot thinner. Going into this tour, we have more depth. We’d like to get back into winning ways and tag on the back of our performance at the ARC. And we’d like to establish who our top 15 and top 23 are going into the Uruguay playoff.”

The opening match will be aired live on FOX Soccer Plus and live-streamed on FOX Soccer2Go. For those fans who want to catch a second look it will re-air on FOX Sports 1 Sunday, Nov. 10, at 12:00 ET.

The test series is crucial for the Eagles as they prepare for the Rugby World Cup 2015 Americas 2 qualifier play-off with Uruguay in March 2014.

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Men’s Eagles | November 2013 Tour
v New Zealand Maori All Blacks – Philadelphia, Penn. – Nov. 9 – 7 P.M. ET
v Georgia – Tbilisi, Georgia – Nov. 16 – 5 A.M. ET
v Russia – London, England – Nov. 23 – 10 A.M. ET

Men’s Eagles | November Tour Roster
Name    Club    

Derek Asbun    University Cape Town
Inaki Basauri    Tarbes Pyrenees
Blake Burdette    New York Athletic Club
Todd Clever    NTT Communications Shining Arcs
Joe Cowley    Life Rugby
John Cullen    Seattle-OPSB
Peter Dahl    Belmont Shore
Shaun Davies    Unattached
Cameron Dolan    Life Rugby
Zach Fenoglio    Glendale
Eric Fry    London Scottish
Graham Harriman    Metropolis
Luke Hume    Unattached
Seamus Kelly    University of California
Titi Lamositele    Saracens
Patrick Latu    Metropolis
Scott LaValla    Stade Francais
Toby L’Estrange    New York Athletic Club
Samu Manoa    Northampton Saints
Tim Maupin    San Francisco Golden Gate
Folau Niua    Men’s Eagles Sevens
Zach Pangelinan    Old Mission Beach Athletic Club
Mike Petri    New York Athletic Club
Shawn Pittman    Seattle-OPSB
Blaine Scully    Leicester Tigers
Robbie Shaw    Esher
Adam Siddall    Old Blue
Kyle Sumsion    Brigham Young University
Andrew Suniula    London Wasps
Phil Thiel    Life Rugby
Tai Tuisamoa    Old Mission Beach Athletic Club
Nick Wallace    Olympic Club
Chris Wyles    Saracens

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