The Runner Sports

USA Eagles Brace For Irish Invasion

In a summer season parched of American rugby, those awaiting some fifteens action will have their thirst quenched this weekend.

With the arrival of the men from Ireland, the full complement of Eagles has been named ahead of what will likely be the biggest test of USA Rugby this summer. The match is up against the number four ranked team in the world and will require the talent, leadership, and experience of all 23 Americans named by head coach Jon Mitchell in anticipation of Saturday’s test.

The forward pack boasts some of the premier players of the American club and collegiate circuit. Forged in this emerging crucible of rugby development are Chris Baumann, Ben Tarr, and Peter Malcolm. Malcolm gained his experience playing at Wheeling Jesuit University where he was named Collegiate All-American. World Cup veteran Baumann and Tarr are both in possession of impressive club rugby credentials including time spent in the short-lived PRO Rugby franchise. Tall and rangy, the lock positions will be held down by Nic Civetta and Nate Brakeley. Civetta, who adds professional experience in Italy to his resume, will need to use this experience to help cool the nerves of the younger Americans heading into Saturday’s match. The forward pack will be filled out by the presence of David Tameilau at Number 8 and Tony Lamborn and John Quill as flankers. California-native Tameilau was part of the undefeated Americas Rugby Championship American squad and Lamborn and Quill claim 24 caps between them.

Like the forwards, the American backline incorporates a patchwork of players and talent. Providing direction on the pitch will be scrum half and team captain Nate Augsberger and fly-half AJ MacGinty. MacGinty will look to use experience gained in the 2015 World Cup and the Europe’s Pro 12 Competition to confront his fellow Irishman and direct traffic in the backline. Martin Iosefo, Mike Te’o, and Ben Cima will make up the back three for the American squad. Iosefo and Te’o turned heads as members of the Eagles Sevens team and will look to use their speed to elude Irish defenders. Likewise, communication and accurate support lines will prove essential to centers Ryan Matyas and Marcel Brache if they are to match up against their more experienced opposite numbers. The Eagle backline is in possession of much individual skill but only time will tell if this band of brothers will be able to demonstrate a cohesive unit against the men in green.

With kickoff at 5 pm ET, this match will whet the appetite of rugby fans in preparation for an action-packed summer of rugby. Those wishing to tune in may do so through a live broadcast on the NBC Sports Network of a matchup not seen since 2013.

1. Ben Tarr
2. Peter Malcolm
3. Chris Baumann
4. Nate Brakeley
5. Nic Civetta
6. John Quill
7.  Tony Lamborn
8. David Tameilau
9. Nate Augsberger (C)
10. AJ MacGinty
11. Martin Iosefo
12. Marcel Brache
13. Ryan Matyas
14. Mike Te’o
15. Ben Cima

Men’s Eagles | Reserves
16. James Hilterbrand
17. Joe Taufete’e
18. Paddy Ryan
19. Matthew Jensen
20. Andrew Durutalo
21. Shaun Davies
22. Will Magie
23. Bryce Campell

Eric Sweigert

Eric Sweigert

Currently a teacher-athlete up in Northern California, I was first introduced to rugby in college (go Aggies) and haven't looked back. Nowadays you can find me teaching American History and writing about a sport that provided many good memories and more than enough stitches.
Eric Sweigert