BOULDER, Colo. -– Eagles Head Coach, Eddie O’Sullivan, has selected his squad of 30 players that will represent the United States at the 2011 Rugby World Cup (RWC) in New Zealand next month.
The Eagles will compete in Pool C at the RWC, taking on Australia, Ireland, Italy and Russia in pool play. NBC Universal has released their broadcast schedule of the tournament, which begins with the opening ceremony on September 9 and concludes with the RWC final on October 23.
"I think there is a sense of relief that we are now in a position to name the final squad of 30 for the RWC. It has been a thorough process and I belief that we have the best 30 players available to us heading into the RWC.
As expected we have had to make some very tough decisions to get to the final squad, but that is just reflection on the talent available to us,” said O’Sullivan.
Todd Clever will captain the squad, with 16 forwards and 14 backs making up the team. Mike Petri – who led the Eagles against Japan on Sunday night in Tokyo – has been named the vice-captain.
Selected in the front row are Mike MacDonald, Mate Moeakiola, Eric Fry and Shawn Pittman. Three hookers have been selected in Chris Biller, Phil Thiel and Brian McClenahan.
The lock specialists are John van der Giessen, Hayden Smith and Scott LaValla. The loose-forwards include: Inaki Basauri, Pat Danahy, JJ Gagiano, Nic Johnson, Louis Stanfill, along with Clever.
In the backline, Tim Usasz is at scrumhalf with Petri. Partnering them at flyhalf are Nese Malifa and Roland Suniula. The centers will be Paul Emerick, Tai Enosa, Junior Sifa and Andrew Suniula.
Out wide the wings are Colin Hawley, Taku Ngwenya, James Paterson and Kevin Swiryn. Chris Wyles and Blaine Scully complete the squad as fullbacks.
“All eyes are now turned to RWC and our departure from the USA on September 1,” commented the Head Coach.
The squad will assemble in Santa Barbara on August 28 for their final preparations before flying to New Zealand on September 1.
USA EAGLES 2011 RWC SQUAD
Inaki Basauri (Perigueux), Chris Biller (San Francisco Golden Gate), Todd Clever (Suntory Sungoliath), Pat Danahy (Life University), Eric Fry (Las Vegas Blackjacks), JJ Gagiano (Univ. of Cape Town), Nic Johnson (Unattached), Scott LaValla (Stade Francais), Mike MacDonald (Leeds Carnegie), Brian McClenahan (Olympic Club), Mate Moeakiola (Bobigny 93), Shawn Pittman (London Welsh), Hayden Smith (Saracens), Louis Stanfill (Unattached), Phil Thiel (Life University), John van der Giessen (Unattached)
Paul Emerick (Life University), Tai Enosa (Belmont Shore), Colin Hawley (Olympic Club), Nese Malifa (Glendale), Taku Ngwenya (Biarritz), James Paterson (Otago), Mike Petri (New York Athletic Club), Blaine Scully (Unattached), Junior Sifa (Nottingham RFC), Andrew Suniula (Chicago Griffins), Roland Suniula (Boston Rugby), Kevin Swiryn (Agen), Tim Usasz (Nottingham RFC), Chris Wyles (Saracens)
USA EAGLES RWC 2011 STAFF
Eddie O’Sullivan (Head Coach), Dave Hodges (Forwards Coach & Technical Analyst), Matt Sherman (Backs Coach), Mike Tolkin (Defensive Coach), Dan Payne (Skills Coach), Chris O’Brien (Kicking Coach), David Williams (Strength & Conditioning), Jarrad Griffiths (Assistant Technical Analyst), Tristan Lewis (Team Manager), Kevin Battle (Assistant Manager), Dallen Stanford (Team Media Manager), Michael Keating (Physiotherapist), Alex Garibay (Physiotherapist), Sarah Sall (Masseuse), David Schneider (Doctor, 3-16 Sept), Pat McNair (Doctor, 17 Sept onwards)
RWC 2011 SCHEDULE | NEW ZEALAND
September 11, 2011: USA vs. Ireland (New Plymouth)
September 15, 2011: USA vs. Russia (New Plymouth)
September 23, 2011: USA vs. Australia (Wellington)
September 27, 2011: USA vs. Italy (Nelson)