Dolan handed USA Select captaincy

(IRB.COM) Thursday 11 October 2012
 Dolan handed USA Select captaincy
Cameron Dolan lines up before an IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy match in 2008 Photo: Frankie Deges.

Former Under 20 back-row forward Cameron Dolan will captain USA Select in the opening match of this year’s Americas Rugby Championship.

USA Select take on two-times ARC champions Argentina Jaguars at Westhills Stadium, Langford, kick off 5.30pm, Pacific Standard Time, Friday 12 October.

The Jaguars won both the previous ARC tournaments, held in 2009 and 2010, but they were not given an opportunity to defend their title last year due to the staging of the Rugby World Cup.

Dolan, of Life University, narrowly missed selection for the US Eagles squad that travelled to New Zealand in 2011 for the game's global showpiece and is a former IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy graduate.

The blindside flanker is joined in the back row by Boston RFC’s John Quill and number 8 and contracted Sevens player, Taylor Mokate.

In a youthful pack, where all eight of the forwards are 25 years or under, Nicholas Wallace, Derek Asbun and Zachary Fenoglio make up the front row, while locks Tom Katzfey and Graham Harriman provide the grunt behind.

In the backs, Benny Mateialona has fought off stiff competition from Shaun Davies for the number nine jersey. He partners Gearoid McDonald at half back.

Jack Tracy, a veteran of seven IRB global age grade matches, lines up at centre alongside Dean Gericke of Arkansas State University.

Zachary Pangelinan and Cornelius Dirksen, who can double up as a scrum half, are selected on the wings with Chris Chapman at full back.

Tough battle

As a Select XV, USA have only played their South American counterparts once before, losing 45-12 two years ago in Cordoba.

But Jaguars captain and scrum half, Tomas Cubelli, is anticipating a tough battle.

“We know that America is a very physical opponent, their players are big and offer a dynamic game. Similarly, we want to impose our game on them,” he said.

Elsewhere, Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias lines up at fly half and there are call-ups in the centre for Javier Rojas and Jeronimo De La Fuente.

Manuel Montero and Facundo Barrea are on the wings and full back Roman Mirrales of Rosario completes the back three.

All bar two of the Jaguars’ pack have been capped at senior level, with tight head prop Juan Gomez having played professional rugby at European champions Leinster and Leeds.

Teros aim to go the distance

In the second match of the opening day, host side Canada A entertain the Uruguay national team.

Although the last time Canada's second string faced off against Uruguay was at the 2010 Churchill Cup in Glendale, Arizona, which saw Canada come away with a 48-6 victory, many of the players will be familiar with Uruguay.

Ten members of the Canadian side were selected from the 2012 MacTier Cup winning Ontario Blues team that toured South America earlier this year and beat this very same Uruguay team.

Teros Coach Pablo Lemoine - a legendary prop forward for many years for his country, acknowledged the fine reception his team has had in Canada - and how his team has recovered following a nearly 30 hour trip from Montevideo in South America.

"Everything has been perfect since we arrived - and now that we have gotten the team on the training pitch - it is even better. It was a very long trip, but now we are here to play rugby and we are looking forward to the game against Canada," said Lemoine.