There have been many rugby players with ties to the U.S. who could have chosen to play for the Eagles, but didn’t. Check out this list of notable players that could have been.
Ronan O’Gara: It’s hard to imagine Ronan O’Gara not in Irish green. After all, he’s the most-capped Irish player of all time and holds the record for most points. He’s also been a captain at every level he’s played at, including the British & Irish Lions. Yet it might not have been had he chosen to play for the Eagles. O’Gara was born in San Diego while his father was in school, but he only spent a short time in the states. Realistically he was never going to represent the U.S. but it’s fun to think about.
Jerome Kaino: Having a strong connection with American Samoa has been a blessing to the Eagles in the past, but unfortunately they weren’t able to capitalize on Jerome Kaino’s birth in the territory. Kaino left American Samoa for New Zealand at the age of four. A player of his talent wasn’t going to go unnoticed by the All Blacks and soon enough selectors came calling. So far he has 49 caps to his name.
Alex Corbisiero: Of all the players on this list, the loss of Corbisiero hurts the most for the Eagles. Born in New York to an American father and an English mother, Corbisiero moved to England when he was nearly five. He still has family back in New York. If that wasn’t enough to have Eagles fans feeling blue, Corbisiero actually trained with the All-Americans at one point before choosing to play for England. He has so far earned 18 caps for England as well as a few caps for the British & Irish Lions.
Tommy Seymour: The current Glasgow winger was born in Tennessee but spent very little time in the U.S. before moving to the Middle East and the British Isles. Seymour qualified to play for the Eagles, Ireland, and Scotland. He was in the Ulster system before making the move to the Warriors in order to play for Scotland.
Do you know any other players that could have played for the Eagles but opted to pull on the colors of another country? Post your comments on Rugby Rugby’s social media pages.
Curtis Reed is the founder and editor of This Is American Rugby. He can be found on Twitter @ThisIsAmerRugby, on Facebook, and at www.thisisamericanrugby.com.