Seven MLR players have made the starting XV of the USA Eagles team that is set to face Canada in the opening round of the Pacific Nations Cup.
USA Eagles Head Coach Gary Gold named his match-day squad following a four-week preparation camp in Colorado, with the MLR taking the lion’s share of places on the team.
It’s positive news for the fledgling professional league, which in total in supplying 11 of the Eagles’ 23.
Two of the 23 play in the Gallagher Premiership, while three are from clubs in the GreenKing IPA Championship. Two are from the USA Sevens program while one is from the Top14, PRO14 and Global Rapid Rugby respectively. A further two are listed as ‘unattached’.
The line-up however is relatively inexperienced with just 330 cumulative test caps between.
“We’ve had a very productive month from a training perspective and we know that we will see a really well-coached and prepared Canadian side on Saturday,” said Gold. “We know that what we saw in Seattle was only a taste of what this Canada side can do and with Rugby World Cup in the forefront of everyone’s minds this match in Glendale will be no different.
“It is absolutely critical that we remain disciplined through this game and continue to make the right decisions in tight situations. We are in every way focused on preparation for Rugby World Cup but, before that, we have four very important test matches and a responsibility to deliver a competitive performance in every one of them.”
1. Chance Wenglewski Rugby ATL
2. Dylan Fawsitt, Rugby United New York
3. Paul Mullen, Houston SaberCats
4. Ben Landry, Ealing Trailfinders
5. Nick Civetta, Unattached
6. Malon Al-Jiboori, Glendale Raptors
7. John Quill, Rugby United New York
8. Cam Dolan, NOLA Gold
9. Shaun Davies, Glendale Raptors
10. AJ MacGinty, Sale Sharks
11. Martin Iosefo, USA Sevens
12. Bryce Campbell, London Irish
13. Marcel Brache, Western Force
14. Blaine Scully, Unattached
15. Will Hooley, Bedford Blues
16. Kapeli Pifeleti, San Diego Legion
17. David Ainuu, Toulouse Rugby
18. Paddy Ryan, Rugby United New York
19. Greg Peterson, Newcastle Falcons
20. Jamason Fa’anana-Schultz, Houston SaberCats
21. Ruben de Haas, Free State Cheetahs
22. Gannon Moore, Utah Warriors
23. Madison Hughes, USA Sevens
The tournament will be contested by Japan, Canada, Samoa, Tonga, Fiji and USA over three rounds on 27 July, 3 August and 9-10 August 2019, offering teams a vital chance to fine tune their squads and scope out their opposition.
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