With the Six Nations underway this weekend, English Premiership teams look to the LV=Cup.
USA players are, of course, available for selections, and that's one of the big advantages to having a non-European or two on your roster. This weekend Northampton play Saracens, with Samu Manoa starting at lock.
That's no surprise, but what is of interesting is that the Saints may be a step closer to getting Cameron Dolan on the field. Earlier this week, Northampton Director of Rugby Jim Mallinder said that the Jupiter, Fla. native has enormous potential.
"Cam’s got a big future, big potential," Mallinder told the Northampton Chronicle & Echo. "If he rises to the challenge there will be opportunities for him to go all the way and hopefully play in the Premiership and higher than that."
Mallinder said the club is being patient with Dolan, but first team minutes are not far off.
On the other side of that matchup, Saracens have opted to rest Chris Wyles, but they will be starting Hayden Smith, who got his first minutes for the club last week after being cut by the New York Jets in the fall. Smith will start at lock, shoving against Manoa.
"I’m very excited, The Gardens is a very difficult place to play," said the former and perhaps future USA lock. "They've got a great squad of players and it's always a huge test. I think it's good for us a team, it provides us with another challenge and we’re going into the game with a lot of confidence."
Wasps will not use Andrew Suniula this week.
In France, Scott LaValla helped Stade Francais win 32-6 over Castres last week (See video highlights http://www.lnr.fr/video-stade-francais-castres-32-6-j17-saison-2013-2014,3693.html). The French Top 14 takes the week off.
The Japanese season is over for Todd Clever, who picked up a hand injury in his last game and was seen all bandaged up at the USA 7s last week. Clever assured RUGBYMag.com that the injury was not serious and he would be back to 100% soon.
Back to England. Former USA U20 captain Will Magie will captain the Ealing U23s against a Combined Services XV this weekend. Magie starts at flyhalf.
London Scottish will start Eric Fry this week, but rest Robbie Shaw as they take on Nottingham. Scottish are now 3rd in the Championship as they have hit a hot streak of late. That included a 25-6 defeat of the Cornish Pirates last week, with Fry scoring a try to cap off a nice catch-and-drive.