Fresh forward pack, Selects ready for Jaguars test in Argentina

SALTA, Argentina – The USA Rugby Selects coaching staff is utilizing the full travel squad on its current South American Tour as Head Coach Mike Tolkin has announced the starting lineup for the match against Argentina Jaguars Tuesday, April 28.

Capped Eagle Phil Thiel will captain the squad from the front row with Angus MacLellan and Chris Baumann at his side as loose head and tight head prop, respectively. The eight forwards named to Tuesday’s roster did not start in last Thursday’s 13-3, tour-opening victory against Uruguay in Montevideo.

John Cullen, available from the bench Tuesday, and Olive Kilifi each spent time in the sin bin in the win as the Selects did not allow Uruguay to cross the try line with 15, 14, or 13 men on the pitch.

AIG Men’s Collegiate All-Americans Ben Landry and Kyle Sumsion will partner Nicholas Barrett and Teli Veamatahau in the second row and back row, respectively, while Alastair McFarland rounds out the pack at number eight.

“This is a younger pack of forwards who are looking to prove themselves to the coaches,” Tolkin said. “They are young and athletic and need to use brains and brawn here to duel with a seasoned, physical, and intelligent pack on the other side of them.”

Fly half in last week’s match, Shalom Suniula will take over at scrum half Tuesday, a position he held with the Selects at the Americas Rugby Championship in Canada last fall. AJ MacGinty moves from the bench to fly half to partner the Seattle Saracens playmaker, while MCAA Niku Kruger will provide fresh legs for the half backs wearing no. 21.

“We are playing these games to see what these players can do in the heat of battle against quality opposition,” Tolkin said. “We would like our half backs to be tactical decision makers and lead the attack by being intelligent, confident, and vocal. It is my hope that they see the game exactly as the staff and team do and the attack can be effective because of that shared vision of what we are trying to achieve.”

Troy Hall will play at full back, his position at the ARC, moving Ronald McLean to the wing opposite Tim Stanfill. Chad London will partner Lemoto Filikitonga in the centers, replacing the Selects’ captain against Uruguay, Seamus Kelly.

Zach Pangelinan, scorer of the Selects’ first three points last week, joins Colton Cariaga, Cullen, Zach Fenoglio, Kruger, Mike Shepherd, Matt Trouville, and Nick Wallace in the reserves.

Twenty-eight of the traveling 29 players have been selected to a match-day squad on Tour thus far, with the coaching staff ringing changes to better gauge the Eagles’ World Cup pool.

“We wanted our upper echelon of domestic-based players to play challenging matches where they need to perform physically and mentally to succeed, to use and develop their rugby IQs so that they are better conditioned to succeed against the top teams in the world,” Tolkin said.

“From this match, we want to see who shows the ability to do that – who shows the promise to move on. That will be measured in the next matches as well as the one we just played in against Uruguay. It will also provide great teaching opportunities for the coaches.”

Tuesday’s match is scheduled for a 2:40 p.m. ET kickoff at the home of Jockey Club de Salta, before the rematch Saturday, May 2, at Estadio Padre Ernesto Martearena. Broadcast details for Tuesday’s match have not yet been confirmed.

USA Rugby Selects | v. Argentina Jaguars
1. Angus MacLellan
2. Phil Thiel (C)
3. Chris Baumann
4. Nick Barrett
5. Ben Landry
6. Teli Veamatahau
7. Kyle Sumsion
8. Al McFarland
9. Shalom Suniula
10. AJ MacGinty
11. Tim Stanfill
12. Lemoto Filikitonga
13. Chad London
14. Ronald McLean
15. Troy Hall

USA Rugby Selects | Reserves
16. Zach Fenoglio
17. Nick Wallace
18. Mike Shepherd
19. John Cullen
20. Matt Trouville
21. Niku Kruger
22. Zach Pangelinan
23. Colton Cariaga

Argentina Jaguars | v. USA Rugby Selects
1. Bruno Postiglioni
2. Julián Montoya
3. Matías Díaz
4. Guido Petti Pagadizabal
5. Matías Alemanno
6. Pablo Matera
7. Javier Ortega Desio
8. Facundo Isa
9. Tomás Cubelli
10. Santiago González Iglesias
11. Manuel Montero
12. Jerónimo De la Fuente
13. Matías Moroni
14. Ramiro Moyano
15. Santiago Cordero

Argentina Jaguars | Reserves
16. Matías Cortese
17. Lucas Noguera Paz
18. Roberto Tejerizo
19. Gerónimo Albertario
20. Lisandro Ahualli de Chazal
21. Martín Landajo
22. Bautista Ezcurra
23. Matías Orlando

USA Rugby Selects | Coaching Staff
Mike Tolkin – Head Coach
Justin Fitzpatrick – Assistant Coach (Forwards)
Nate Osborne – Assistant Coach (Backs/Attack)
Phil Bailey – Assistant Coach (Defense)
David Williams – Strength and Conditioning Coach
Chris O’Brien – Assistant Coach (Video Analysis)
Richard Quincy – Physiotherapist
Zach Vyhnanek – Physiotherapist
Sarah Sall – Massage Therapist
Sam Akhavan – Doctor
Tristan Lewis – Team Manager

USA Rugby Selects | South American Tour
v Uruguay – W 13-3
v Argentina Jaguars – Tuesday, April 28 – Salta
v Argentina Jaguars – Saturday, May 2 – Salta

Uruguay beaten at home by determined Selects

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay – Capped Eagle John Quill scored the lone try Thursday in the USA Rugby Selects’ 13-3 win against Uruguay at the ground of Old Christians Club.

Zach Pangelinan opened the scoring with a penalty goal in the 22nd minute and A.J. MacGinty came off of the bench late to convert Quill’s try and add a penalty of his own. Yellow cards issued to John Cullen and Olive Kilifi towards the end of the first half gave Uruguay a brief two-man advantage, but the Selects were tenacious on defense, keeping Los Teros to just three points throughout the 80 minutes.

Cullen’s sinning was matched by a Uruguayan in a post-whistle altercation, while Kilifi was penalized in the scrum at the end of the half. The Selects were given plenty of time to work in the scrum with a slick pitch causing handling errors from both teams, a needed follow-up to the Forwards Camp held earlier this year at the Olympic Training Center.

Kilifi was sent off in the 64th minute for a repeated infraction in the scrum. The second yellow turned to red to end the prop’s night, though Head Coach Mike Tolkin was pleased with the set pieces throughout the match.

“In the scrum we took several balls against the tight head and caused a few penalties,” he said. “It was almost even in that department.”

Though Manuel Blengio missed his fair share of penalty attempts, he leveled the match at 3-3 in the 60th minute. Pangelinan missed three penalties, including a 75th-minute kick inside Uruguay’s half that would have given the Selects a 6-3 lead. Minutes later, the U.S. was given another opportunity at points with a penalty against Uruguay. Captain Seamus Kelly pointed towards the touch line rather than the posts, however, and Shalom Suniula kicked to touch.

With time running out on the match and the Selects playing with 14 players to Uruguay’s 15, Kelly recognized the need to keep play in the host’s half. Zach Fenoglio’s lineout throw 10 meters from the line was perfect for the Selects, who drove a maul over the try line for an 8-3 lead before MacGinty’s conversion extended it to 10-3.

“We felt confident in our lineout and mauling ability, and, being down a man, we thought it was a good opportunity to spend time deep in their end and put the pressure on them,” Tolkin said. “It was good on-field game management from the captain.

“Seamus had his hands full speaking to the referee with all the conferences and cards, but he was a strong leader out there.”

MacGinty brought the final score to 13-3 with a penalty kick prior to the final whistle, and the Selects earned the first win for a U.S. senior XVs side on Uruguayan soil since 2009. In the first leg of the Rugby World Cup Qualifier in 2014, the Eagles played to a 27-27 draw in Montevideo before earning a Pool B place with a 32-13 win in the second leg at Fifth Third Bank Stadium at Kennesaw State University.

The Selects will travel to Salta for matches against Argentina Jaguars Tuesday, April 28, and Saturday, May 2. Prior to kickoff, Tolkin’s squad will focus on a few aspects of the game upon which to improve in order to come home with a winning record from the tour.

“We need better line speed on defense, more physicality and urgency in the tackle area, and, as always in South America, for our set pieces to be strong,” Tolkin said.

USA Rugby Selects | v. Uruguay
1. Nick Wallace
2. Zach Fenoglio
3. Olive Kilifi
4. Louis Stanfill
5. John Cullen
6. Alastair McFarland
7. John Quill
8. Matt Trouville
9. Robbie Shaw
10. Shalom Suniula
11. Zach Pangelinan
12. Lemoto Filikitonga
13. Seamus Kelly (C)
14. Tim Stanfill
15. Ronald McLean

USA Rugby Selects | Reserves
16. Mike Shepherd
17. Chris Baumann
18. Angus MacLellan
19. Nick Barrett
20. Kyle Sumsion
21. Niku Kruger
22. Chad London
23. Alan MacGinty

Uruguay | v. USA Rugby Selects
1. Alejo Corral
2. Carlos Arboleya
3. Oscar Durán
4. Mathias Palomeque
5. Jorge Zerbino
6. Fernando Bascou
7. Diego Magno
8. Santiago Vilaseca
9. Alejo Durán
10. Manuel Blengio
11. Santiago Gibernau
12. Alberto Román
13. Joaquin Prada
14. Leandro Leivas
15. Jeronimo Etcheverry

Uruguay | Reserves
16. German Kessler
17. Juan Echeverria Corral
18. Mateo Sanguinetti
19. Ignacio Dotti
20. Mathias Braun
21. Agustin Alonso
22. Rodrigo Silva
23. Francisco Bulanti

USA Rugby Selects | 13
Tries: Quill
Conversions: MacGinty
Penalties: Pangelinan, MacGinty

Uruguay | 3
Tries: N/A
Conversions: N/A
Penalties: Duran

USA Rugby Selects | South American Tour
v Uruguay – W 13-3
v Argentina Jaguars – Tuesday, April 28 – Salta
v Argentina Jaguars – Saturday, May 2 – Salta

Americas' top Six Rugby Nations Planning for Bright Future

MIAMI – Executive members of the top-6 ranked rugby nations spanning North and South America met in Miami, FL this week to discuss the creation of a new annual International Championship set to begin in 2016. The tournament, which has yet to be named, would be a groundbreaking endeavor strengthening rugby competition across the two continents.

“This is a historic moment for rugby in the Americas,” said Agustin Pichot, former Argentinean captain and current Pan American Rugby Association President. “We had a very productive meeting in Miami and as a group of Unions we believe that an American championship would contribute significantly to the development of the game in the Americas. There is a lot of work to be done but the future looks bright.”

Echoing Agustin’s statement, Sebastian Pineyura, Uruguay Rugby President said, “We are very happy with the progress made in the meeting. The strategic goal of this tournament is aligned with our plans as a Union and we are sure it will be a great development tool for rugby in the Americas.”

During an initial tournament scoping exercise, all six nations agreed the International Championship would be developed under the guidance of the Pan American Rugby Association (PARA). The competing nations – Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Uruguay and the United States – will each play five matches annually, giving Rugby fans across the Americas a chance to see top-tier international competition on a regular basis.

Agustin Danza, CEO, Brazil was also in attendance at the meeting, saying, “We are very optimistic about the future of rugby in the Americas. The collaboration we achieved in this first meeting showed us that by having more of these meetings, we will be able to accelerate the growth of the region.” Brazil is the host nation for the 2016 Summer Olympics, in which rugby will make its triumphant return to the Olympic Games programme via the Rugby Sevens format of the game.

Executive members representing each nation’s rugby unions have agreed to work together to develop a fixture schedule spanning 5 years, determining home and away matches for each nation. “We had a great meeting in which all the invited countries collaborated enthusiastically to make progress and reach agreements,” said Sebastian Bianchi representing Chile “the dream of a tournament with the six nations is closer every day.”

During the meeting plans for future expansion of the competition were also discussed and proposals will be put forward to World Rugby to see how a tiered competition structure that could eventually incorporate all Unions in the Americas could become a reality.

USA Rugby CEO Nigel Melville said “This is an exciting time for Rugby in the Americas and the establishment of a sustainable annual International Rugby Championship for the Unions in the Americas will be an important step forward for the development of the game in the region.”

North America’s other representative, Rugby Canada CEO Graham Brown, agreed, saying, “Rugby Canada believes strongly in working with our partners across the Americas. A competition that provides high-quality, consistent fixtures annually will help further ensure the growth of the game in both North and South America.”

Work will now commence to develop the competition schedule and operations plans ahead of the planned 2016 launch.

Experienced Selects named for first match of South American Tour

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay – Seamus Kelly will captain the USA Rugby Selects as they begin their tour of South America against Uruguay Thursday, April 22.

Mike Tolkin has named 13 capped Eagles to the starting XV, bringing a combined 339 international appearances. Players will not earn international caps on tour as none of the three matches south of the equator are ranking tests.

Nine players, including Kelly’s partner at inside center, Lemoto Filikitonga, represented the U.S. as the Selects at the Americas Rugby Championship last October. The Selects defeated host Canada and Uruguay to finish the tournament in second for the second consecutive year.

The Selects assembled in Sunrise, Fla., for five days to find the cohesion of a touring side. Following Thursday’s match against Uruguay, the team will wrap up the tour with two matches against the Argentina Jaguars in Salta, Argentina.

A forwards-specific camp at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., and the Spring Camp in Sunrise preluded last week’s assembly and the head coach’s selections. Across the two camps, 39 players vied for the 29 spots on the touring squad.

“We worked these players hard, mentally and physically, in some pretty harsh weather conditions in Florida, and their response was encouraging,” Tolkin said. “The returning players from prior camps and assemblies were prepared to take the next steps forward, and that continuity is what we need to grow and improve. They also served as strong game and team managers for the younger and newer players throughout camp.”

Thursday’s match is scheduled to kick off at 7:15 p.m. local time, 6:15 p.m. ET. The match is not scheduled to be broadcast in the United States.

USA Rugby Selects | v. Uruguay
1. Nick Wallace
2. Zach Fenoglio
3. Olive Kilifi
4. Louis Stanfill
5. John Cullen
6. Alastair McFarland
7. John Quill
8. Matt Trouville
9. Robbie Shaw
10. Shalom Suniula
11. Zach Pangelinan
12. Lemoto Filikitonga
13. Seamus Kelly (C)
14. Tim Stanfill
15. Ronald McLean

USA Rugby Selects | Reserves
16. Mike Shepherd
17. Chris Baumann
18. Angus MacLellan
19. Nick Barrett
20. Kyle Sumsion
21. Niku Kruger
22. Chad London
23. Alan MacGinty

Uruguay | v. USA Rugby Selects
1. Agustín Alonso
2. Carlos Arboleya
3. Fernando Bascou
4. Manuel Blengio
5. Mathias Broun
6. Francisco Bullanti
7. Alejo Corral
8. Ignacio Dotti
9. Alejo Durán
10. Oscar Duran
11. Jerónimo Etcheverry
12. Juan Echeverria
13. Santiago Gibernau
14. Germán Kessler
15. Leandro Leiva

Uruguay | Reserves
16. Diego Magno
17. Mathias Palomeque
18. Joaquín Prada
19. Alberto Roman
20. Matthew Sanguinetti
21. Rodrigo Silva
22. Santiago Vilaseca
23. Jorge Zerbino

USA Rugby Selects | Coaching Staff
Mike Tolkin – Head Coach
Justin Fitzpatrick – Assistant Coach (Forwards)
Nate Osborne – Assistant Coach (Backs/Attack)
Phil Bailey – Assistant Coach (Defense)
David Williams – Strength and Conditioning Coach
Chris O’Brien – Assistant Coach (Video Analysis)
Richard Quincy – Physiotherapist
Zach Vyhnanek – Physiotherapist
Sarah Sall – Massage Therapist
Aaron Burgess – Doctor
Tristan Lewis – Team Manager

USA Rugby Selects | South American Tour
v Uruguay – Thursday, April 23 – 6:15 p.m. ET – Montevideo
v Argentina Jaguars – Tuesday, April 28 – Salta
v Argentina Jaguars – Saturday, May 2 – Salta

Spring Camp roster announced for Eagles' Florida stay

BOULDER, Colo. – Mike Tolkin’s Eagles Select XV will prepare for a three-match tour to South America, the Pacific Nations Cup, and the upcoming Rugby World Cup in England and its buildup matches with a spring camp in Sunrise, Fla., Feb. 26 to March 1.

Thirty-three domestic-based athletes, including Todd Clever (unaffiliated) and Mike Petri of New York Athletic Club, as well as two international-based, capped Eagles in Ronnie McLean and John Quill, have been called to assemble at long-time Eagle training venue KICS Facility.

John Cullen, Tim Stanfill, Ben Tarr, and Matt Trouville will head to Florida having gained their first test caps last fall in matches against Fiji, New Zealand, Romania, and Tonga. The Eagles’ tour was highlighted by the sold-out crowd of 61,500 at Soldier Field in Chicago for the Eagles’ match against the All Blacks.

Tolkin and staff, including Assistant Coach Justin Fitzpatrick, held a forwards camp at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., earlier in February with 20 pool players, which gave the staff time to work with players in specific set piece scenarios. An Eagles Select XV squad will be chosen from this weekend’s camp to play three A-side matches against Uruguay and Argentina Jaguars in South America in April and May.

“After a long time apart, our Spring Camp always serves as an opportunity to get the Eagle pool players back on page with how we operate, and it also serves to introduce any new tactics that we’re looking to implement for the upcoming international season,” Tolkin said. “Moreover, it provides a venue for some talented new and younger players to be seen and evaluated for the first time at this level.”

Boys High School All-American and AIG Men’s Junior All-American Ben Cima, currently enrolled and playing rugby at University of Maryland, earns his second call to an Eagles camp, with his first coming prior to the Eagles Select XV’s Americas Rugby Championship campaign last October.

Eagles November squad member Angus MacLellan and Kutztown University’s Niku Kruger and Mike Lawrenson – the latter now attending Palmer College – also represent the college ranks in the Spring Camp roster. Alec Gletzer of University of California and Kyle Sumsion of Brigham Young University were unavailable for selection.

“It is an exciting time as our pool continues to grow in numbers and talent, and both of these factors present our staff with greater opportunity as well as greater challenges,” Tolkin said.

While Tolkin welcomes back Toby L’Estrange from an injury sustained in early 2014, the Eagles will be without Adam Siddall, who has retired from international rugby. The fly half started seven of his eight international tests with the Eagles, including his debut against Canada in Edmonton May 25, 2013. His 52 points from eight conversions and 12 penalty goals helped the Eagles to three wins, including a late victory against Georgia Nov. 16, 2013.

Life University graduate and current club standout AJ MacGinty will get his first taste of an Eagles assembly in Florida. The American Rugby Premiership’s leading scorer with 75 points is now eligible to represent the United States at the test level.

Danny Barrett, who missed out on the majority of the match against the All Blacks due to an injury sustained in the first few minutes, is one of five Men’s Eagles Sevens representatives at the Spring Camp. Folau Niua of 12 caps and Andrew Durutalo and Zack Test, called upon for the ARC, will travel to Sunrise with Barrett and Maka Unufe. The sevens team is coming off of its first Cup Semifinal of a World Rugby HSBC Sevens World Series leg since 2010 at USA Sevens Valentine’s Day weekend.

“The Spring Camp takes on further significance as we look towards selecting players for the development tour to South America in April,” Tolkin said. “The camp is also the starting point for building the Rugby World Cup squad later this summer. There’s quite a lot of competition for spots among the domestic players alone, so the way players go about their business on and off the field, no matter their longevity with the Eagles, will be incredibly important in how they are evaluated by the staff.

“I’d like to personally thank the clubs and universities for the use of their players, some during the competitive season, and I would like to thank the Men’s Eagles Sevens program for their cooperation and participation in our camp.”

KICS Facility, adjacent to Sawgrass Grand Hotel, affords the players and staff the unique opportunity to walk directly from the hotel to the training field, maximizing the on-field time over the course of the weekend as well as minimizing ground transportation costs. Fort Lauderdale Rugby Club will also support the Eagles with equipment and operational needs during camp.

The Eagles Select XV’s matches in South America begin in Montevideo against Uruguay Thursday, April 23, before two against Argentina Jaguars Tuesday, April 28, and Saturday, May 2, in Buenos Aires and Mendoza, respectively.

Eagles Select XV | Spring Camp

Player Club/School
Danny Barrett Men’s Eagles Sevens
Chris Baumann Santa Monica Rugby Football Club
Ben Cima University of Maryland
Todd Clever Unaffiliated
John Cullen Seattle Saracens Rugby Football Club
Andrew Durutalo Men’s Eagles Sevens
Zach Fenoglio Glendale Raptors Rugby Football Club
Lemoto Filikitonga Metropolis Rugby Football Club
Troy Hall New York Athletic Club
Seamus Kelly San Francisco Golden Gate
Olive Kilifi Seattle Saracens Rugby Football Club
Niku Kruger Kutztown University
Ben Landry Seattle Saracens Rugby Football Club
Mike Lawrenson Palmer College
Toby L’Estrange New York Athletic Club
Chad London Glendale Raptors Rugby Football Club
Angus MacLellan Davenport University
Al McFarland New York Athletic Club
AJ MacGinty Life Rugby
Ronnie McLean Ealing Rugby Football Club
Folau Niua Men’s Eagles Sevens
Brodie Orth Glendale Raptors Rugby Football Club
Mike Petri New York Athletic Club
Ben Pinkelman Denver Barbarians Rugby Football Club
John Quill Dolphin Rugby Football Club
Jope Ravolaca Seattle Saracens Rugby Football Club
Mike Shepherd Seattle Saracens Rugby Football Club
Tim Stanfill Seattle Saracens Rugby Football Club
Shalom Suniula Seattle Saracens Rugby Football Club
Ben Tarr Glendale Raptors Rugby Football Club
Zack Test Men’s Eagles Sevens
Phil Thiel Life Rugby
Matt Trouville Seattle Saracens Rugby Football Club
Maka Unufe Men’s Eagles Sevens
Nick Wallace Glendale Raptors Rugby Football Club

Unavailable for selection
Alec Gletzer – University of California
Kyle Sumsion – Brigham Young University

Louis Stanfill – Seattle Saracens Rugby Football Club

Eagles Select XV Coach Staff | Spring Camp
Mike Tolkin – Head Coach
Justin Fitzpatrick – Assistant Coach, Forwards
Nate Osborne – Assistant Coach, Backs/Attack
Phil Bailey – Assistant Coach, Defense
Neil McMillan – Strength & Conditioning Coach
Chris O’Brien – Assistant Coach/Video Analyst
Richard Quincy – Physiotherapist
Zach Vyhnanek – Physiotherapist
Marc Kowalsky – Doctor
Sean Lindersmith – Assistant Manager
Tristan Lewis – Team Manager

Men's Eagles Forwards Camp set for Olympic Training Center

BOULDER, Colo. – Head Coach Mike Tolkin and the Men’s Eagles coaching staff will work with 20 Rugby World Cup hopefuls at the United States Olympic Committee Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., next week.

Capped Eagles John Cullen, Olive Kilifi, John Quill, Louis Stanfill, Kyle Sumsion, Ben Tarr, Phil Thiel, Matt Trouville, and Nick Wallace will help integrate newcomers to the national team setup at the Forwards Camp Jan. 30 to Feb. 1.

“This is the first time we’ve done this, and from my recollection, it’s the first time that it’s been done with the Eagles for at least 10 years,” Tolkin said. “This is an area that we want to continue to strengthen.”

Bringing a wealth of knowledge on the subject is Forwards Coach Justin Fitzpatrick, who joined Tolkin’s staff in the fall of 2013. Holder of 26 caps for Ireland, including each of Ireland’s matches in Rugby World Cup 1999, Fitzpatrick played prop professionally for 18 years for London Irish, Ulster Rugby, and Castres Olympique.

“Generally speaking, we’re coming in [to an assembly] and building towards a test match, so we have to taper the work loads because we’ve got a performance element at the end,” Fitzpatrick said. “This is an opportunity for us to look at the domestic depth pool in terms of forwards and put them through a very rigorous scrummaging- and lineout-specific weekend where there is no match to hold us back in any of that training.

“We can really push the envelope and hopefully expand the learning curve with that.”

“We can put in some quality time just on set piece that we don’t often have available to us in camps and assemblies,” Tolkin said. “The scrum is an area that we want improvement in, so we feel that this is a really good investment of time and resources.”

In total, five flanker-specific athletes, three hookers, six props, and three second row-specific players will attend the skills camp. Ben Landry, Mike Lawrenson, and Angus MacLellan were each selected for the USA Rugby AIG Men’s Collegiate All-Americans’ New England Tour last summer, which propelled MacLellan to a roster spot with the Eagles at the 2014 Americas Rugby Championship and November Tour.

“It gives us a great opportunity to look at who’s currently in the domestic depth chart that’s been capped, that has been on a senior tour, but also what’s around the corner,” Fitzpatrick said. “We get to have a look at them and compare like with like over the course of the weekend. Those guys that have been capped to the younger guys; we can see where they are at these two technical areas and see whether they’re ready for the jump up or to give them appropriate feedback so they can go back into their programs so the next time they’re given the opportunity they can push themselves on a little further.”

Cullen, Tarr, and Trouville were among a number of Eagles who earned playing time during the most recent November Tour with multiple overseas-based professionals unavailable.

Titi Lamositele, the youngest capped Eagle, is unavailable for selection due to injury, but should begin more rigorous training in late February.

The Forwards Camp is the first of three camps specifically aimed at domestic players, hailing from such clubs as Glendale Raptors, Santa Monica Rugby Club, and Seattle Saracens, to enhance their upcoming club seasons. A full, 35-player assembly is also scheduled for late February in Florida.

“It’s hard to say [what I’m looking forward to the most],” Tolkin said. “The most obvious thing would be the South American Tour and the games and seeing new faces play. We get to harden up these guys a little more while gaining valuable international playing time.

“But I’m also eager for the camps, too, where our goal is to address the individual skill set and work on our playing style, which we’re hoping to build on. I am really looking forward to taking the next step in developing the game plan, and sharpening it up a little more.”

The Eagles forwards will get the perfect opportunity to put next weekend’s lessons into action when Tolkin’s squad travels to South America in April for matches against Uruguay and Argentina Jaguars. The trip will be the first time the U.S. National Team has traveled to the Tucuman region of South America, which has produced several professional props for Argentina.

Men’s Eagles | Forwards Camp

Name Position Club
Chris Baumann Prop Santa Monica Rugby Club
Demecus Beach Prop Life
John Cullen Second Row Seattle Saracens
Zach Fenoglio Hooker Glendale Raptors
Alec Gletzer Flanker University of California
Olive Kilifi Prop Seattle Saracens
Ben Landry Second Row Seattle Saracens
Mike Lawrenson Flanker Palmer College
Angus MacLellan Prop Davenport University
Al McFarland No. 8 New York Athletic Club
Brodie Orth Second Row Kansas City Blues
Ben Pinkelman Flanker Denver Barbarians
John Quill Flanker Dolphin Rugby Football Club (Ireland)
Mike Shepherd Hooker Seattle Saracens
Louis Stanfill Flanker/Second Row Seattle Saracens
Kyle Sumsion Flanker Brigham Young University
Ben Tarr Prop Glendale Raptors
Phil Thiel Hooker Life
Matt Trouville Flanker/No. 8 Seattle Saracens
Nick Wallace Prop Glendale Raptors

Men’s Eagles | Forwards Camp Coaching Staff
Mike Tolkin – Head Coach
Justin Fitzpatrick – Forwards Coach
David Williams – Strength & Conditioning Coach
Chris O’Brien – Video Analyst
Zach Vyhnanek – Physiotherapist
Brian Finn – Physiotherapist
Tristan Lewis – Manager
Sean Lindersmith – Assistant Manager
Nick Kennedy – Line Out Consultant
Didier Retiere – Scrum Consultant