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.”
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.
Visit the #USAvMaoriABs page for a full list of events, contests and ticket information.
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
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