O'Sullivan names USA Selects pool for ARC

(IRB.COM) Friday 11 September 2009

 O'Sullivan names USA Selects pool for ARC
Tai Enosa impressed for USA Under 20s at the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy in Kenya

USA Eagles coach Eddie O'Sullivan has selected a player pool of 31 to prepare for the all-new Americas Rugby Championship, which see a USA Selects side face Argentina Jaguars in the semi finals on 10 October.

The pool, which will assemble for the first time six days before that match, will be cut to the 23 players allowed under tournament rules with San Francisco Golden Gate's head coach Paul Keeler at the helm for the two matches they will play.

The Americas Rugby Championship - which replaces the IRB North America 4 and is intended to provide a competitive platform between domestic and international rugby - is already underway with four Canadian provinces playing in a round robin to determine the two who will meet in the other semi final.

"Fortunately everyone will be able to play within the course of those two games," explained O'Sullivan. "This is a great opportunity for guy 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."

Among the players named by O'Sullivan are former NFL star Leonard Peters, who only weeks after switching to rugby played for USA Sevens at the World Games in Chinese Taipei last month, and former track athlete Dallas Robinson.

Strong representation of American rugby

Tai Enosa, who starred for USA Under 20s as they reached the final of the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy in Kenya during April, is also included, having made his senior Eagles debut - ironically against the Jaguars - in the Churchill Cup in June

"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," said USA Rugby CEO Nigel Melville.

"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."

USA Selects coach Keeler added: "In my opinion and having been to Argentina, they have the best rugby culture in the world, so to play a side from Argentina is very exciting. Their passion for the game is second to none.

"We are 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 La Prevotte (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).

Backs: 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). *

* Two backs to be added to pool.

For more information, visit www.americasrugbychampionship.com.