Men's Eagles open 2019 ARC campaign with 71-8 victory over Chile in Santiago.

The Men’s Eagles kicked off their Rugby World Cup year as strong as expected this afternoon in Santiago with a dominant 71-8 victory over Chile in round one of the 2019 Americas Rugby Championship. A hat trick from retuning AJ McGinty led a flurry of tries in what was a United States owned match of possession. In the end, an encouraging showing as the team now heads to Argentina for a grudge match with ARC rival Argentina XV, LIVE on FloRugby.

90º weather welcomed the Men’s Eagles to Santiago, but the real heat was in the United States offense early. Joe Taufete’e got things started with a try in the 2′, notching his career 15th and tying Keith Woods of Ireland for the most by a front row forward in test match history. Despite the early score, Taufete’e wouldn’t tally another, saving the record-breaking moment for a future fixture. By the sixth minute, McGinty followed suit with his first of three tries and the US was in first command, 12-0.

Though limited, there were a few flashes of threatening offense from the Chilean side, the first coming at the 9′ mark after a nice-looking box kick brought possession deep into the US end. Shaun Davies was able to clear out, but Chile earned another scrum and jumped back on the attack. A few series later the ball was knocking on the US door and Chile was awarded a penalty. Despite being only inches from the try line, the home team elected to kick and slotted in their first points from short range.

Paul Lasike answered in short order after great facilitating from Davies and offload from Captain, Marcel Brache. The powerful inside center kept inbounds on the left flank and jogged into the end zone for his first try of the year.

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A few minutes later big Nick Civetta found a hole up the middle and dotted down. The Eagles continued to own possession as Davies earned a try, followed by #7 Hanco Germishuys just before the halftime whistle. Officially, the United States tallied a try from six different players in the first half alone. Teams left for the locker rooms with the Eagles up, 38-3.

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Germishuys kept momentum after the break with a few broken tackles an run away sprint down the left flank. Brache was in chase and wide open for an offload but Hanco was a little late to pass and brought down in tackle. Coming out of the breakdown, McGinty tagged back in after what looked to be the most fluid ball movement of the afternoon from his teammates.

Chile’s physicality started to mount as they started to break through the US pressure, reserve Matias Dittus carried the ball hard through the goal line effort and reached over for their first try. Chile kept momentum after the restart, but it would fall short and fade through the end of the match. Knowing his team was in the driver’s seat, Brache urged at the second half water break, “Keep it at our tempo, simplicity wins this game.”

The remainder of the match played out in favor of the US as McGinty collected his third try completing the hat trick and newest Eagle, Tadhg Leader, produced his first career try. Having converted his own score, Leader earned his inaugural cap, try and conversion in a matter of minutes. Chile wasn’t looking to go quietly as they continued to play physical despite the lofty deficit on the scoreboard, however an at-the-whistle try from #8 Cam Dolan would seal the 71-8 victory for the United States.

In retrospect, the Men’s Eagles really spread the love around with 9 total players contributing points on the board. While the 71-8 score proves dominant, the United States heads into round two with a few improvements to focus on. “Overall really happy with our first start,” noted Head Coach Gary Gold post-match, “We did what we set out to do, and thought we were very effective, but I think we gave them a little too much momentum and can improve on our physicality in the collisions.”

Gold continued and looked ahead to Argentina, “A deserved victory over a young team, but we realize next week’s challenge is going to be significantly more difficult against an experienced Argentinian team.”

Up next the Men’s Eagles travel to Rio Negro to take on Argentina XV after a thrilling win over the squad to open the 2018 ARC. In what should be the most contested match up for the US, fans won’t want to miss a minute as the match is streamed LIVE on FloRugby at 3pmET, Saturday Feb. 9th.

Head Coach | Gary Gold
Assistant Coach, Backs & Attack | Greg McWilliams
Assistant Coach, Forwards | Shawn Pittman
Strength & Conditioning Coach | Huw Bevan
Performance Analyst | Jimmy Harrison
Team Doctor | Mark Sakr (Chile, Argentina Uruguay, Canada)
Head Athletic Trainer | Kevin Ng
Assistant Athletic Trainer | Kristen Douhan
Team Manager | Chris Hanson

LIVE on FloRugby in the United States

Saturday, Feb. 2
vs Chile | 1 PM ET
Santiago, CHL

Saturday, Feb 9
vs Argentina XV | 3 PM ET
Rio Negro, ARG


Saturday, Feb 23
vs Brazil | 7:10 PM CT
Dell Diamond, Austin, TX
Get Tickets

Saturday, Mar 2
vs Uruguay | 7:10 PM PT
Starfire Sports, Seattle, WA
Get Tickets

Friday, Mar 8
vs Canada | 7:10 PM PT
Starfire Sports, Seattle, WA
Get Tickets


USA Men's Sevens finalists for Team of the Month in Team USA's Best of January Awards

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The United States Olympic Committee today announced the finalists for the Team USA Awards presented by Dow, Best of January, which recognize the outstanding achievements of Team USA athletes from last month. Fans are invited to vote for their favorite athletes and teams at through midnight Tuesday, Feb. 5.

A total of 10 sports – including bobsled, fencing, figure skating, freestyle skiing, luge, Para alpine skiing, Para Nordic skiing, rugby, track cycling and wrestling – are represented among the 13 finalists across men’s, women’s and team categories. The finalists’ collective accomplishments tell the inspiring story of U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes year-round.


Male Athlete of the Month

Nathan Chen (Salt Lake City, Utah), Figure Skating
Won his third consecutive U.S. title in Detroit, smashing his own scoring records for short program, free skate and overall score, as well as the U.S. record for the highest margin of victory at 58.21 points.

Alex Ferreira (Aspen, Colorado), Freestyle Skiing
Claimed his first X Games gold medal in superpipe in his hometown of Aspen, Colorado, scoring a 92.66 on his second run to best the competition by 2.33 points.

Race Imboden (Brooklyn, New York), Fencing
Secured two world cup medals in foil fencing with a silver at the world cup in Tokyo and a bronze at the world cup in Paris to retain his No. 3 world ranking.

Aaron Pike (Park Rapids, Minnesota), Para Nordic Skiing
Earned two silver medals in the men’s sitting class of the middle-distance cross-country and biathlon sprint at the world cup in Ostersund, Sweden, marking his first career cross-country world cup podium finish.

Thomas Walsh (Vail, Colorado), Para Alpine Skiing
Won his first career world championship medals, earning two bronzes in the men’s standing class of giant slalom and super combined in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia and Sella Nevea, Italy.

Female Athlete of the Month

Alysa Liu (Richmond, California), Figure Skating
At age 13, became the youngest skater ever to win a U.S. title, the first American woman to land two triple axels in a single performance and just the second woman in the world to land three triple axels in a single competition.

Oksana Masters (Louisville, Kentucky), Para Nordic Skiing
Secured four medals in the women’s sitting class at the world cup in Ostersund, Sweden, including golds in middle-distance cross-country and cross-country sprint, and silvers in biathlon sprint and biathlon individual.

Tamyra Mensah-Stock (Katy, Texas), Wrestling
Became the first American wrestler in any discipline to win three career titles at the Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix in Krasnoyarsk, Russia, widely considered the toughest open freestyle event in the world.

Elana Meyers Taylor (Douglasville, Georgia), Bobsled
Medaled in every women’s bobsled world cup race in January, including a gold-medal-finish with Lauren Gibbs in St. Moritz, Switzerland, to end Germany’s 24-race winning streak in world cup and Olympic bobsled races.

Emily Sweeney (Suffield, Connecticut), Luge
Secured the women’s bronze medal at the world championships in Winterberg, Germany, marking her first career senior championship podium finish 11 months after a crash at the Winter Olympic Games PyeongChang 2018 in which she broke a bone in her neck and back.

Team of the Month

U.S. men’s foil team, Fencing
Alexander Massialas (San Francisco, California), Miles Chamley-Watson (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), Race Imboden (Brooklyn, New York) and Gerek Meinhardt (San Francisco, California) won the silver medal at the world cup in Tokyo, and added a bronze medal at the world cup in Paris, extending the team’s streak to nine straight world cup podium finishes to retain its No. 1 world ranking.

U.S. men’s team, Rugby Sevens
Won its third straight silver medal in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, defeating host and reigning world cup champion New Zealand to tie Fiji for the No. 1 ranking in the world.

U.S. men’s team pursuit, Track Cycling
Eric Young (Geneva, Illinois), Colby Lange (Vail Valley, Colorado), Ashton Lambie (Lincoln, Nebraska) and Danny Summerhill (Centennial, Colorado) earned the silver medal in team pursuit at the world cup in Hong Kong, marking the best finish for a U.S. men’s team pursuit squad in over a decade.


Each National Governing Body may nominate one female, one male and one team per sport discipline. An internal nominating committee selects finalists to advance to the voting round. Votes received from NGB representatives and select members of the media account for 50 percent of the final tally, with the other half determined by online fan voting via

Rookie Rugby: 10 Reasons You Should Get Involved

There is no question about it: Rookie Rugby is a great way to get little ruggers in your community involved in the sport you love. This child-focused program has multiple locations in 40 states, with kids third through eighth grade trying out rugby for the first time. But what’s really impressive is that this a community and club run program.
While USA Rugby provides the starter kits and curriculum for a non-contact introduction to the sport, it is local clubs and community organizations that are implementing Rookie Rugby in their area. Why are so many individuals volunteering to do this? Because the benefits far outweigh the cost, and we all know a generation of kids will love rugby just like we have!
Here are 10 reasons you should implement a Rookie Rugby flag league program in your area:
It’s Safe: We understand that safety is one of the primary concerns for both players and parents. Therefore, a non-contact version of the game is a great introduction that keeps kids safe, moving and having fun.
It’s Inclusive: Inclusivity is one of the core values at USA Rugby; therefore it is built into the Rookie Rugby program to ensuring that every child feels encouraged to pick up the rugby ball.
Kids Love Rugby: Rugby has a special way of giving everyone the opportunity to run with the ball, pass the ball, and play defense. Because of this, kids walk away from a match feeling active and part of a team – feelings we want our children to have daily.
Fans: For every child that plays rugby there is a whole family that adopts the game. A local program helps grow the rugby fan base, which means more spectators in support on the community and national level.

Growing the Game: Community programs increase the number of rugby players in America and decrease the age at which they are introduced. Tens of thousands of kids playing today means our national teams win tomorrow.
Getting Started is Easy: There are several ways to start a Rookie Rugby program; you can start as a parent, club, community organization or school. Find the method that is the best fit at
Minimal Space Needed: A standard multi-use grass pitch can hold up to four Rookie Rugby fields. Rookie Rugby can even be played indoors in a typical elementary sized gymnasium. So space is not an issue!

Equipment is Minimal: Balls, flags, jerseys, and boundary cones are all available in the Rookie Rugby starter pack. If additional equipment is needed throughout the year, it can be purchased at the Rookie Rugby Shop.
Short Time Frame: The Rookie Rugby League is a 4-5 weeks program with no year-round commitments. Practice runs 60-80 minutes depending on the age grade, and occurs once or twice a week depending on which level you begin your program at.
It Impacts the Youth in your Community: Let’s face it, rugby is a life-enhancing sport. We can learn several things from this team sport that apply in our everyday lives. Imagine the power it holds for the littlest ruggers in your community.
If you are interested in starting a program in your area, Visit to get started.

Rugby World Cup 2019 Tour Packages available with portion of proceeds benefiting the Men's Eagles

  • Rugby World Cup 2019 tour packages moving quickly with limited availability still open.
  • Portion of revenue from remaining packages donated to Men’s Eagles through “Enhanced Eagles” (EE) supporter modules. 
  • Travel options available for USA fans who have already secured RWC2019 match tickets, through Accommodation Only (AO) modules. 

LAFAYETTE, CO – This Fall, USA Eagles Tours – the official touring agency of USA Rugby for Rugby World Cup 2019 – released 12 travel modules following the Men’s National Team to Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan. In a revolutionary new approach, you the traveler now have full control over how, where and when you catch the Eagles matches come Fall 2019. As well as the United States Pool matches, you can purchase match tickets and accommodations for the opening match and ceremony, the Quarterfinals, Semifinals and World Cup Final. In between Eagles games, drop in and watch the New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland, Wales, England, Australia and the French for a truly world class rugby experience. USA Eagles Tours has direct ticket access to nearly all games in conjunction with just two or three night’s accommodation and a choice of hotel standards.

Match ticket allocations are limited and reserving faster than any previous Rugby World Cup. For information and booking details visit,

USA Eagles Tours is additionally releasing full availability of its EE (Enhanced Eagles) & AO (Accommodation Only) Travel Modules for those who have secured their own Match Tickets through separate sources. These modules will include exclusive USA Rugby VIP “Invite Only’ game day breakfasts, limited edition USA Rugby – Rugby World Cup 2019 lapel pin, VIP gift bag and much more. Get it all from the Men’s Eagles in person.

You will be supporting USA Rugby in two ways as travelers to Rugby World Cup Japan 2019 if you choose one of the special EE or AO Travel Modules. Not only will reservations receive the full list of VIP benefits, but reservations will also make a direct contribution to the Men’s National Team. A portion of your EE or AO travel module fee goes directly to USA Rugby and is tax-deductible.

To inquire on booking EE or AO Travel Modules, visit
To inquire on bookings including match tickets, visit
Any questions or not sure about anything before you book email, You can also call 619-332-7288 with any questions.

About USA Eagles Tours

USA Eagles Tours is the Official Travel Agent (OTA) for Rugby World Cup in North America. Many of the staff you will meet in Japan 2019 have worked for our group on every Rugby World Cup dating back to New Zealand 1987. Our expertise is second to none. If what we offer does not suit you exactly, just give us a call and if we can help you – we will. The 12 Travel “Modules” on our main website accommodate from the tournament Opening Ceremony, right through every game to The Rugby World Cup Final. For more information visit

USA Men's Sevens Preview: HSBC Sydney Sevens 2019

SYDNEY, AUS. – Tied at No. 1 and hungrier than ever for a gold medal finish, the Men’s Eagles Sevens will take on the fourth stop in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2019 at HSBC Sydney Sevens Feb 1-3.

Taking their third-straight silver medal in Hamilton last weekend, the United States men will battle it out against France, Kenya and rival-Canada for another chance at the Cup, LIVE on

This Series Last Stop (New Zealand Sevens 2019)

A devastating injury to two-time World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year Perry Baker was a loss for the Eagles Sevens. But the squad proved to be more resilient than ever with an unbeaten run in pool play to seal a place in the Cup Quarterfinals.

A 29-7 victory over Tonga — where Baker was injured — opened the tournament, after which an even stronger 34-14 showing against Samoa followed. A final 19-7 win over England claimed first place in Pool B where the USA looked ahead to face Scotland in the Quarterfinals.

There, the Scottish were overcome 19-14 despite numerous penalties that had fans in FMG Stadium Waikato on the edges of their seats to see who would emerge victorious. And with the Americans still on fire, home-team New Zealand was equally overcome by a 17-7 result that led the USA to their third straight Cup Final.

Facing 2016 Olympic Champion Fiji, the United States had their work cut out for them. The Fijians played as good of a match as they ever have — almost better, in fact — clearly indicating it would take nothing shy of perfection from the other side to have a chance at the win. The Eagles Sevens were ultimately taken by a 0-38 loss but left New Zealand still tied for first-place in the rankings and determined more than ever to claim Gold.

Who to Watch

Thanks to their breakout performances, Ben Pinkelman, Carlin Isles and Folau Niua were named to the HSBC Dream Team last tournament.

Playmaker Folau Niua’s Dream Team nomination was his first and a long-overdue honor in his 62 tournament career. The playmaker will make his 63rd World Series appearance at Sydney Sevens, passing Zack Test and becoming the most-capped Eagles Sevens player of all time.

Undeniably fast and unstoppable on the edge — it comes as no surprise that Carlin Isles massively stepped up in the wake of injury at New Zealand Sevens. But the athlete had much more to offer last weekend than fast runs around the outside and breakaway tries. Isles used his speed to capitalize on defense chasing down ball carriers with pace and making tackles no one could expect.

Like Isles, Captain Madison Hughes is another who couldn’t be stopped in Hamilton. Hughes scored four tries over the weekend with his impeccable timing and precise identification of space. Including conversions, the Captain scored 39 total points in New Zealand.

And, with Perry Baker out, Matai Leuta has flown into Sydney to suit up with the team. Leuta was with the Eagles Sevens for their first two silver-medal finishes and owns four total tries in 2019.

The Competition

France, Kenya and rival-Canada will be no easy test for the United States. The No. 12 ranked French will be up first on Friday, Feb 1 at 6:06 PM ET, taking on the USA men for the first time since Paris Sevens 2018. The Eagles Sevens prevailed in that matchup with a 26-12 result.

Next up will be No. 13 Kenya who last faced the Americans at London Sevens 2018 where both teams drew. The Kenyans previously claimed wins over the Eagles Sevens in Singapore and Canada which makes a win in Sydney that much more of a statement for USA.

No. 11 rival-Canada will be the final matchup of Pool B. The epic North American rivalry last took place at London Sevens where the United States took a 27-19 victory.

All matches may be streamed LIVE on

Hear it from Head Coach Mike Friday

On making three-consecutive finals…
“It’s bittersweet after the last weekend. Yes we are pleased to make three finals but are hugely disappointed we didn’t win the cup which makes us all the more determined to try and kick on.

“Fiji were better on the night and everything stuck for them. While there are a few things we may have done differently, Fiji didn’t allow us to play and made us pay for every mistake which is how 7’s can go. That is what we did to them in Dubai so we need to stay grounded and move forward to the next challenge.”

On facing three opponents in pool play for the first time this season…
“Hugely tricky group this week with three very physical and tactically different teams to face who are all set up to cause us real problems. A big physical French team, a North American derby as well a traditional warrior battle when we face Kenya.

“We will need to be at our best Day One, first and foremost physically and then also tactically smart to play the style of games that highlight our strengths in an uncompromising weather climate. Resilience and grit will be needed in bucket loads.”

To Sum it Up

Still with a top placing but tied for No. 1, Sydney Sevens will be a critical tournament for the United States. Facing three teams in pool play whom they have yet to play this season will come as no easy battle, especially after three consecutive Cup Final appearances have positioned the Americans as the team to beat. In many ways, the upcoming weekend will be the ultimate test.

Men’s Eagles Sevens Match Day 12 Roster 

Player Position HSBC Tournaments
1. Carlin Isles Wing 44
2. Ben Pinkelman Prop/Hooker 26
3. Danny Barrett Prop 44
4. Anthony Welmers Prop 4
5. Brett Thompson Prop 26
6. Kevon Williams Halfback/Wing 14
7. Folau Niua Halfback 62
8. Maceo Brown Center 3
9. Stephen Tomasin Hooker 24
10. Madison Hughes (C) Halfback 40
11. Matai Leuta Prop 29
12. Martin Iosefo Center 36
13. Pat Blair (injury reserve) Hooker 12

Men’s Eagles Sevens Staff

Head Coach | Mike Friday
Assistant Coach | JD Stephenson
Strength & Conditioning Coach | Jon Hood
Athletic Trainer | Brian Green
Team Manager | Scott Novack

HSBC Sydney Sevens Schedule

Pool B | Broadcast LIVE on ESPN+

vs France | Fri, Feb 1 – 6:06 PM ET
vs Kenya | Fri, Feb 1 – 11:34 PM ET
vs Canada | Sat, Feb 2 – 3:39 AM ET

Knockout rounds for Pool B begin Sat, Feb 2 at 7 PM ET

Top 5 Placings

(following New Zealand Sevens 2018)

Category Position
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series Standing Tied for 1st (57 points)
Most Points Scored by a team 3rd (426)
Most Tries Scored by a team 2nd (69)
Restarts by a team 2nd (73)
Most Points Scored by a player Madison Hughes, 3rd (97)
Most Tries Scored by a player Carlin Isles, 4th (13)
Restarts by a player Folau Niua, 2nd (54)

*Teams who finish in the Top 4 at the end of the season will earn qualification for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

Visit World Rugby Sevens Series Stats Center


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Men's Eagles name roster for opening match of Americas Rugby Championship 2019 against Chile

SANTIAGO, CHL. – The U.S. Men’s National Team 15s has named it’s match-day roster to face Chile in the first round of the Americas Rugby Championship 2019 this Saturday, Feb 2 at 1 PM ET, LIVE on FloRugby. As reigning two-time Champions, the Eagles will begin the chase to secure their third-consecutive title in the opening of a Rugby World Cup year.

Headlining the squad as Captain is wing Marcel Brache who takes on the role with Blaine Scully out due to injury. Brache owns 12 caps with the Eagles and has been a leader amongst the group since his debut in 2016. The athlete scored his first two tries in a breakout game against Russia last summer in Denver, CO.

Suiting up as Brache’s counterpart on the wing is Gannon Moore who recently earned his first cap in the team’s historic first ever victory over Samoa last November.

The backline are also joined by the official return of flyhalf AJ MacGinty who was forced to miss the November Internationals last year due to injury. With MacGinty in, Will Magie will start at fullback.

Records could be broken within the forward pack as hooker Joe Taufete’e is currently two tries away of becoming the highest scoring front row forward in World Rugby history. Taufete’e owns 14 career tries where Ireland’s Keith Wood currently holds the record at 15 tries.

Wood reached the record after a nine year career as a national team player whereas Taufete’e was first capped with the Eagles in 2015. The achievement would be an incredible feat for USA’s hooker having done so in only four years and what will be his 20th cap.

Overall, ten total players in Saturday’s lineup come from professional teams in Major League Rugby with Tadhg Leader — Captain of the New England Free Jacks — having the opportunity to earn his first cap from the bench. The full match-day 23 features a cumulative total of 343 caps.

Head Coach Gary Gold said: “Our first challenge of the ARC will not be easy, playing the Chilean side in their home territory. Chile plays a very passionate and physical game and given this is the start of a long tournament, we must play to our strengths to establish the momentum we need to carry us through the competition. Of course, we want to win our third ARC title, but that will be even more difficult as all teams have come back with a renewed physicality. This is the start of our Rugby World Cup year and we must ensure our guys are prepared to manage the intensity in each game for the full 80 minutes.”

The USA sits on the better side of a 4-1 overall record with the Chileans and won their previous three matchups in the ARC with a bonus point win. Last time the two faced off, the Eagles walked away with a 45-13 victory on home soil. Given Chile has certainly strengthened since last facing the United States, and with the U.S. Men’s National Team looking to maintain their form, Saturday’s matchup will set the tone for the next six weeks.

Following Chile, the United States will face Argentina XV in Rio Negro on Sat, Feb 9 before all teams rest for a bye week. After the break, the Eagles will play three matches in USA against Brazil (Feb 23) in Austin, TX, as well as Uruguay (Mar 2) and rival-Canada (Mar 8) in Seattle, WA.

Tickets to watch the Eagles play at home in the Americas Rugby Championship 2019 are available at All USA matches of the tournament will be broadcast LIVE on FloRugby exclusively in the United States.


Men’s Eagles Starting Roster | USA vs Chile 

Player Position Club Caps
1. Titi Lamositele Prop Saracens (ENG) 26
2. Joe Taufete’e Hooker Worcester Warriors (ENG) 19
3. Dino Waldren Prop London Scottish (ENG) 15
4. Greg Peterson Lock Bordeaux Bégles (FRA) 20
5. Nick Civetta Lock Doncaster Knights (ENG) 18
6. John Quill Flanker Rugby United New York 29
7. Hanco Germishuys Flanker Glendale Raptors 11
8. Cam Dolan No. 8 NOLA Gold 40
9. Shaun Davies Scrumhalf Glendale Raptors 19
10. AJ MacGinty Flyhalf Sale Sharks (ENG) 20
11. Marcel Brache (C) Wing Western Force (AUS) 12
12. Paul Lasike Center Harlequins (ENG) 9
13. Bryce Campbell Center London Irish (ENG) 21
14. Gannon Moore Wing Utah Warriors 2
15. Will Magie Fullback Glendale Raptors 19

Men’s Eagles Reserves | USA vs Chile

Player Position Club Caps
16. James Hilterbrand Reserve Manly Marlins (AUS) 16
17. Chance Wenglewski Reserve Lindenwood University 1
18. Paul Mullen Reserve Houston SaberCats 6
19. Nate Brakeley Reserve Rugby United New York 15
20. Tevita Tameilau Reserve Glasgow Warriors (SCO) 12
21. Ruben de Haas Reserve Free State Cheetahs (RSA) 7
22. Tadhg Leader Reserve New England Free Jacks 0
23. Dylan Audsley Reserve San Diego Legion 6

USA Men’s Eagles Staff

Head Coach | Gary Gold
Assistant Coach, Backs & Attack | Greg McWilliams
Assistant Coach, Forwards | Shawn Pittman
Strength & Conditioning Coach | Huw Bevan
Performance Analyst | Jimmy Harrison
Team Doctor | Mark Sakr (Chile, Argentina Uruguay, Canada)
Head Athletic Trainer | Kevin Ng
Assistant Athletic Trainer | Kristen Douhan
Team Manager | Chris Hanson

Americas Rugby Championship 2019 Schedule

LIVE on FloRugby in the United States

Saturday, Feb. 2
vs Chile | 1 PM ET
Santiago, CHL

Saturday, Feb 9
vs Argentina XV | 3 PM ET
Rio Negro, ARG


Saturday, Feb 23
vs Brazil | 7:10 PM CT
Dell Diamond, Austin, TX
Get Tickets

Saturday, Mar 2
vs Uruguay | 7:10 PM PT
Starfire Sports, Seattle, WA
Get Tickets

Friday, Mar 8
vs Canada | 7:10 PM PT
Starfire Sports, Seattle, WA
Get Tickets


About the Americas Rugby Championship

The Americas Rugby Championship (ARC) is an international, round-robin competition at the test level which features six competing teams from North and South America including Argentina XV, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Uruguay and USA. All matches contested in the ARC count for rankings points and test caps with the exception of those played against Argentina XV who compete as a secondary national team. Originally introduced as a development tournament, the Americas Rugby Championship began operating at the senior international level in 2016 where Argentina XV (who remained as part of the setup) claimed the inaugural championship and USA took runners-up. USA are currently reigning champions having won both the 2017 and 2018 ARC with Argentina XV runners-up in both years.

ARC Points Structure

Win – 4 points
Draw – 2 points
Loss – 0 points

Scoring 4+ tries – 1 point
Losing by 7 or fewer points – 1 point

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Maccabi USA Rugby Hall of Fame to Induct Aaron Blatt, Gary Puterman, and Jon Velie

Philadelphia, PA, January 28, 2019 – The Maccabi USA Rugby Family is pleased to announce the induction of Aaron Blatt, Gary Puterman, and Jon Velie into the Maccabi USA Rugby Hall of Fame on Friday, March 1, 2019 in Las Vegas. The ceremony will include the USA Rugby Sevens, part of the World Series of Rugby. Following the ceremony, Maccabi USA Rugby alumni, current, and future players will represent Team USA in the Las Vegas Invitational tournament.

“We are inducting three great men into our Hall of Fame class” said Jeff Simon, part of the Maccabi USA Rugby Hall of Fame Committee. “The three men embody the qualities of commitment, sacrifice, winning, and camaraderie. There were so many great choices, and as we do, we debated it heavily, but two of the leaders from the 1997 gold medal team and a three-time player who came out of retirement to win gold in 2017 is a fine way to continue the tradition for a team, a family, and a people who have so much great tradition.”

Aaron Blatt represented Team USA as a hooker at the 2001, 2005, and 2017 World Maccabiah Games. He helped the USA earn two silver medals in 2001 and 2005 and came out of retirement to lead the team to gold at the 2017 Games. Aaron began his rugby career in 1994 at San Diego State University and was captain from 1996-1998. He was selected to the Southern Cal Griffins All-Star and Collegiate All-American teams in 1997 and 1998 and once again in 2002 and 2003. Most of his rugby career was spent playing for Santa Monica Rugby; he served as captain from 2002-2009. During Aaron’s tenure, Santa Monica won back to back National Championships in 2005 & 2006, he was named MVP five times, and was inducted into the Santa Monica Hall of Fame in 2012. He was selected as an Eagle for a tour to Russia in 2005 but declined because the tour dates conflicted with the Santa Monica National Championship.

Gary Puterman represented Team USA as a fullback and scrumhalf at the 1997 and 2009 World Maccabiah Games. Gary was a key member of the 1997 Open Men’s Rugby Team that won the first-ever gold medal for the USA in Rugby. In 2009, he came out of retirement and helped the Open Men’s team win a bronze medal. Prior to his involvement with Maccabi USA, Gary represented South Africa at the 1985 and 1989 World Maccabiah Games winning two gold medals. He spent his early years as captain of the U20 team at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa. He also played for the U20 Provincial Transvaal team and the U20 and Open teams at South African Universities and Santa Monica Rugby from 1992-2002. During his years with Santa Monica Rugby he was captain for many years and was named Back Player of the Year four times, he was also inducted into the Santa Monica Rugby Club Hall of Fame. Additionally, he was selected to represent the Southern California Griffins in 1995 and 1996. In 1998, Gary played for the USA Eagles on a successful tour of Portugal and Spain.

Jon Velie represented Team USA as a scrumhalf at the 1993 and 1997 World Maccabiah Games and as captain of the gold medal winning Open Men’s Rugby Team at the 1995 Pan Am Maccabi Games in Argentina. Jon was a key member of the 1997 Open Men’s Rugby Team that won the first-ever gold medal for the USA in Rugby. Jon began his rugby career in high school playing for the Oklahoma University Rugby Football Club went on to play at University of California, Berkeley. In 1988 he won the USA Rugby National Collegiate Championship and was an All-American in 1987, 1988, and 1989. Jon was a member of the 1991 National Club Champion Denver Barbarians, the 1994 National All-Star Champion Western US Mustangs, 1991 National U-25 All-Star Champion Western Mustangs, 1990 National U- 25 National All-Star Champion Pacific Coast Grizzlies and played internationally in 1994 for Atlantis in Spain. Most of his career (1983-2000) was spent playing with Oklahoma University RFC; he was Head Coach at Oklahoma University from 1999-2006. Jon was also a Selector for USA Rugby All-Americans and served a Manager for the All-American’s Ireland Tour in 2001. Jon was inducted into the Oklahoma University Rugby Hall of Fame in 2012.

The World Maccabiah Games, first held in 1932, are an international Jewish multi-sport event held quadrennially in Israel. Rugby was first introduced to the World Maccabiah Games in 1985. Team USA won gold in 1997 narrowly beating South Africa and won the first gold in Sevens Rugby in 2013. In July 2017, Team USA won another 15’s gold medal over South Africa.

The Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held Friday, March 1st from 8 P.M.-11 P.M. at the Excalibur Hotel.

For more information, please contact Jeff Simon at or 847-921-0872 and visit

Club Rugby Saturday Six Pack: Early Contenders Collide

Florida Men’s Division II: Tampa Bay Krewe vs. Naples Hammerheads:
There is a storm brewing in Florida, as two teams that have been laying quietly are beginning to awaken. The Tampa Bay Krewe and the Naples Hammerheads are two teams that both look to be set on a path destined for the playoffs, but first their paths will cross this weekend. It is still early in the season for both teams, Tampa Bay had played one game and Naples two; but in the small sample size available they have proved what they are capable of, which is high scoring offenses and dominant defenses. This weekend will be a marker for both teams, as to where they stand and what they’ll have to do in order to reach their ultimate dreams. Despite being an early season game, it most certainly will have the feel of a playoff fixture.

The Krewe by no means are an unknown quantity within club rugby. Under the guidance of Dai Morgan in 2010 they were crowned national champions of Division II and the following year they made it back to the championship game, only to fall just short of a repeat. Since that last appearance in the Championship game, it has been a 6 year drought from the National Playoffs for the Krewe. Now, with Morgan back at the helm, they are fancying themselves for another trip back. Morgan explained that since he rejoined the fold in August, the success enjoyed by the club has been more of tinkering than any whole sale changes. “The setup was already there we just had to give the players the structure.” Part of the set up was a change in tactics, but the biggest change was geographical. The Krewe moved from their old quarters into a nicer and larger facility, allowing for increased quality of training. It is already showing off as their cohesion as a team is evident.

Naples, contrarily, do not possess the same illustrious history that the Krewe do, and their last two seasons haven’t been too glamorous. However, 2019 is looking like the year that it could turn around for Naples. Armed with an immense forward pack and strong coach in Paul Rokela, the Hammerheads have been an absolute menace to the teams who come across them. In their opening duo of games, Naples took down perennial power and contender Miami Tridents by 60 points; and are coming off the back of downing the Boca Raton Buccaneers, 31-10. Their ability to score points, seemingly, at will comes from their forwards’ ability to set the platform and to control the possession of the ball. With a dominant hard hitting tight five and a backrow that can swarm around the field, it is nearly impossible to get the ball off the Hammerheads once they own it.

Saturday will see two contrasting styles of play go up against one another. Naples have a big strong pack led by their front row. Their trio up front are able to dominate at the set pieces and use their big bodies to plug up the channels, sucking the defenders in and allowing the backs to take care of the rest. They are a team the predicates themselves on ball retention and phase play to set up their scoring opportunities. The Krewe, however, thrive off broken play and led by their outside center Will Monnery they can, will, and do strike from anywhere on the pitch. In their last game Monnery had a day he won’t soon forget scoring five tries in the one match. Morgan is quick to point to Monnery as part of the team’s success. “We’re very lucky to have a very talented backline… He (Monnery) reads the game really well and with our style of play being play what you see, it fits him nicely,” Morgan explained.

Heading into Saturday’s fixture both teams have a healthy respect for one another, born largely from the fact both coaches used to coach together. They will also know what to expect, as the two met last fall in a friendly. Morgan noted he took a younger group of players to the match and, while they were able to hold their own for the first 60 minutes, the game slipped away from them in the end. He learned the hard way just how strong the Hammerheads are over the ball and the team will have to play with the scraps that are given to them. Although Morgan seems to enjoy the prospect, “They’re strong on the ball. We will have to be prepared to play off scraps; but I’m comfortable doing that.”

The game has a genuine sense of excitement around it and Morgan summed it up best when exclaiming “We’re expecting a humdinger.”  

Women’s Division I Friendly: Santa Monica Dolphins vs. Utah Vipers:

After pulling off an impressive upset last weekend, the Santa Monica Dolphins look to continue their hot start to 2019, when they take on the visiting Utah Vipers. The Vipers have been one of the premier teams in Division I for the past couple of years, representing the Frontier Region in the playoffs, both times their championship run was ended by eventual national champion, Life West. This year the Vipers look as strong as ever, with comprehensive defeats of the Glendale Merlins and Black Ice Rugby back in the Fall; both wins saw the Vipers score more than 50 points. The Dolphins, on the other hand, are coming off a down year in 2018, where they only managed one win. One week into their 2019 season and they’ve already matched their win total from last year, with an impressive 17 point victory over last year’s Pacific South Champions, the Tempe Ninjas. After knocking off a team that went undefeated last year the Dolphins will fancy their chances to continue their upward trajectory. Instramental in their win last weekend were, outside center- Nina Poloukhine and openside flanker Margret Lee. If they are to take the venom out of the Vipers’ bite on Saturday these two will be at the forefront of the efforts.


Florida Men’s Division III North: Bay Area Pelicans vs. Sarasota Rugby:

Two undefeated teams clash on Saturday as Sarasota makes the trip to St. Petersburg to take on the Bay Area Pelicans. Both teams kicked their 2019 campaigns off with impressive victories. The Pelicans getting up 59-5 over Tampa Bay Krewe B and Sarasota moving by the Daytona Beach Coconuts, 43-7. Last year, both of these teams finished in less than desirable spots in the standings. However, 2019 seems to heading in a different direction for both teams- although that will change for one squad on Saturday. Talib Clemente was the man in the spotlight for Sarasota in their first game of the year, crossing for two tries, they will be hoping for a similar performance from him on Saturday. Weather shouldn’t have an impact on the game, so look for both teams to spread the ball wide and try to run the other team ragged. There should be plenty of scoring and excitement throughout the 80 minute contest.


Red River Men’s Division IV: Grand Prairie Mavericks D4 vs. Tyler Hoplites:

On the weekend, two teams will be fighting to keep their seasons alive; as the Grand Prairie Mavericks D4 and Tyler Hoplites square off and try to keep pace with competition leading Alliance Rugby D4. This will be the second time these two have met this year. Earlier in the year, it was the Hoplites who took the spoils on that occasion 50-19. However, that games was played in Tyler and winning a game at the Hoplites homefield is one of the hardest things to do. With the game being played in Grand Prairie all bets are off and the previous result can’t be relied on to accurately predict the outcome. Drew Wasikowski is the bedrock for the Mavericks’ D4 side. He has contributed over 100 poins to the team’s total already this year, and if the Hoplites are to repeat their previous efforts, stopping the dynamic back will be key.

Northern California Men’s Division III-B: Marin Reds vs. Bay Area Baracus B:

Expect fireworks this weekend when the Marin Reds take on Bay Area Baracus B. These two teams, while still early in their season, have shown a tremendous propensity to score. Bay Area hung 75 points on the San Francisco Fog in their only game of the season; and the Reds have scored a combined 60 points in t
wo games. This weekend marks the beginning of a tough stretch for the Reds who will have to face the also undefeated San Jose Seahawks B side next weekend. To get them through this rough patch of games they will need two things: one, a win here against the Baracus B and two for their hard running inside center and number 8, Robert Miller and Connor Smith respectively, to wreak havoc on the opposition defense. Both of these will be easier said than done, as the Baracus have proven themselves to be tough in defense and they have a flyhalf and number 8, Myles Fenwick and Matthew Jones respectively, duo who can conduct the tempo of a match in a maestro like fashion. It should be a great game with work in and around the breakdown holding the key to each team’s success.


Southern California Men’s Division IV: Fullerton vs. Riverside Rugby:

Fullerton and Riverside Rugby have been enjoying a renaissance, of sorts, this year. Both clubs took time away from competing in the past years, but now are back and playing with a vengeance. After the first two weekends of the season, they sit at first and second respectively on the table; Riverside having played one game whole Fullerton have notched up two. Riverside played their only game of the season last weekend in a 56-8 drubbing of the South Bay Stingrays; while Fullerton have been busy winning their first two 58-19 against the Stingrays and 41-19 against Dead Rabbits. While not the most scientific method in the world, comparing the nature of each teams’ win over the Stingrays it looks like these two should be evenly matched.  One area the game has the potential to be broken open, is through the play of Riverside’s scrumhalf Nicolas Toledo-Fonchetti. Toledo-Fonchetti has was a human highlight reel last time out, scoring 21 points; but more importantly helping to set up the rest of his backline with some stellar scoring opportunities. It’s going to be a belter of a game with plenty of scoring and back and forth between two very accomplished attacking teams.

Pacific North Recap: Premiership Begins Anew

Samurai Sportswear Pacific Rugby Premiership:

Santa Monica Dolphins kicked of the Premiership season at home against Glendale Merlins D1.  The Dolphins swam to a quick lead and led 22-0 at the half.  Glendale would put a converted try on the board, but Santa Monica would answer that effort by doubling their first half score 44-7 behind a 24 point game from Flyhalf Maxwell Rodman. 

Belmont Shore Rugby travelled to Old Mission Beach Athletic Club (OMBAC) for a rematch of last year’s final.  OMBAC would score first with a penalty kick at 10 minutes and hold the lead late in the first when Belmont would creep in a converted try to go ahead 13-14.  No.15 Alfonso Cornu-Labat would add ten second-half points, ensuring OMBAC would retain the statement victory, 33-19. 

Reeling from a preseason loss against 2018 MLR Champion Seattle Seawolves, San Francisco Golden Gate (SFGG) would host Life West Gladiators in a rematch of last season’s third place match.  The Gladiators would come out swinging, capitalizing on two home-team yellow cards and heading into halftime with a commanding lead 3-21.  SFGG would attempt a comeback, chopping the deficit to within ten points, but Life West would have the final say and dominated the final 20 minutes with 17 unanswered points, winning 18-45.      

Northern California Women’s Division II

San Jose Seahawks would play their second game this season at home against the Sacramento Amazons.  The Amazons were itching to get the season going, and sprinted to a 0-46 lead at halftime.  Sacramento’s No.13 Ofolangi had a remarkable 25 point, 5 try day and No.15 Kristin Shum add her own hat trick of tries as the Amazons made the statement of the season with a 0-90 grounding of the Seahawks.  Berkeley All Blues D2 travelled to San Francisco Golden Gate (SFGG).  Berkeley would begin this year with a high-powered proclamation of their own, taking advantage of an early SFGG yellow card and leading 5-31 at the half.   SFGG would not go quietly, but the effort was far from adequate as the All Blues would put on a defensive show preventing any come back in the last 20 minutes, claiming the triumph in the end 17-48.

Red River Recap: Teams Dominate on Their Way to Victory

Men’s Division I:

The 2018-19 season is shaping up to have a similar feel to the 2017-18 season in the Red River’s top flight for men’s play, as both the Austin Blacks and Dallas Rugby dominated their opposition on the weekend. The Blacks had an insatiable thirst for the goal line as they punished the Dallas Harlequins, 105-3. Over 15 players scored tries for the Blacks in the win, most of the damage was done by inside center Brendan Monahan- who contributed 18 points to the team’s total.

The Reds had a harder task coming up against the 2017 national champions, and at the time undefeated, Austin Huns. Dallas wasn’t fazed and handed the Huns their first loss of the year courtesy of a 50-24 win. The Reds were led by flyhalf Blake Boulton who added 20 points for Dallas.


Women’s Division I:

Houston Athletic continued their successful start to the season with a convincing 41-19 win over the Austin Valkyries, giving HARC their second win in as many games against Austin. Bonnie Richardson and Leslie Schroder were both instrumental in the win scoring a double and hat trick respectively. HARC now has a stranglehold on their competition for the rest of the year.


Men’s Division II:

Dallas Rugby made it two from two against the Huns on Saturday when their D2 sides replicated, almost identically, the events of the first division game. Reds D2 beating the Huns D2, 54-15. This wasn’t the only big win in Division II, Houston Athletic beat San Antonio D2 by the convincing score of 86-0. Leading the scoring was Tom Sargent who dotted the ball down four times in the match. The San Marcos Greys blanked Woodlands rugby 38-0. Joel Cagle and Will Burns did most of the damage for the Greys. West Houston D2 rounded out the weekend with a strong 26-15 showing against Houston United.


Women’s Division II:

The Austin Valkyries D2 and Little Rock Stormers both won big against their opponents.  The Valkyries did it to the tune of a 83-0 victory against Bay Area Rugby. Chelsey Arambula had her hands in everything scoring five tries in the one game. Little Rock didn’t win, as emphatically but their win was still impressive nonetheless- they took down Dallas Rugby 57-10. Erin Gallagher-Johnson scored a hattrick in the process of taking the Stormers to victory.


Men’s Division III:

Austin Huns D3 got the club’s only win of the day when they won an arm-wrestle against McAllen Knights 27-17. Austin Blacks D3 had no issues taking down Alamo City Rugby as they cruised to a comfortable 77-0 win. Alliance Rugby more than doubled their opponents, Shreveport Rugby, in an impressive 59-27 display. In a cross town rivalry Houston United outlasted the Houston Arrows 24-17. Bay Area kept Woodlands D3 off the board with a 21-0 shutout victory and Galveston were just a class above the Kingwood Crusaders, handing them a 48-14 loss.


Men’s Division IV:

Houston Athletic D4 capped off their club’s successful day with a 49-17 win over San Antonio D4. Grand Prairie Mavericks D4 squeezed out of a tight one against Dallas Athletic D4 thanks to a last second try from Zain Siddiqui and conversion from Drew Wasikowski; winning the game 47-45.