Men’s National Team announces full squad for Americas Rugby Championship 2019

USA selects 35 players in the chase to capture its third-consecutive title

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UPDATE 1/29 Harley Wheeler jumps in for Ryan Matyas (injury); Dylan Audsley replaces Tim Maupin (injury); Nate Brakeley comes in for Ben Landry (HIA). Updates in table below. 
UPDATE 2/17 Luke Hume (injury) and Samu Manoa (personal reasons) became unavailable for selection. Updates in table below; additional squad changes here.

LAFAYETTE, CO. – The U.S. Men’s National Team (15s) has selected a full squad of 35-players for the annual Americas Rugby Championship 2019 (ARC) kicking off on Saturday, Feb 2.

Entering the tournament as reigning two-time champions, the Eagles will open the round-robin competition on the road against Chile and Argentina XV before coming home to play Brazil, Uruguay and rival-Canada. Of the five matches played in the tournament, all but one (Argentina XV) will be at the test level.

The USA recently concluded their most successful season in the modern era of the Men’s National Team, winning all five matches in the Americas Rugby Championship 2018 and claiming first-ever wins over then-No. 6 Scotland and Samoa. As the team assembles for their first competition in a World Cup year — aiming to build on the established momentum from last season — the named team will include several key players who return to the national team after some time.

Two of which are the highly anticipated returns of flyhalf AJ MacGinty and wing Mike Te’o. MacGinty sat out of the Autumn Internationals to recover from injury after being instrumental in the team’s aforementioned upset of Scotland. Te’o sustained an injury that kept him out of both the Summer and Autumn test matches last year and is expected to make an appearance at some point during the tournament.

Like Te’o, Peter Malcolm is nearing complete recovery from injury and looks to return to the team during the home legs of the competition. With him is No. 8 Malon Al-Jiboori who returns to fifteens after earning his first cap in the Americas Rugby Championship last season and then continuing to make appearances in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

Alongside the athletes who make long-awaited returns are a handful of newly capped players who add fresh depth to the veteran group. Among them are wing Gannon Moore and scrumhalf Nick Boyer, as well as props Chance Wenglewski and David Ainuu who all made their Eagle debut in November of 2018.

With the tournament serving as a catalyst for the upcoming Rugby World Cup, three new players will have the opportunity to earn their first caps in Life University’s Duncan Van Schalkwyk, San Diego Legion’s Kipeli Pifeleti and New England Free Jacks’ Tadhg Leader.

“This selection was one of the more challenging ones for us as a staff. In a World Cup year, it is important that we get the players we believe have the most probable opportunity to be selected for Japan, playing together to develop the cohesion that Coach Gold needs for the team to perform,” said Dave Hodges, General Manager of Men’s 15s Programs. “The competition marks the start of a critical period where we thoroughly test our players and processes for the World Cup while also focusing on delivering a successful ARC campaign.”

The U.S. Men’s National Team will open the Americas Rugby Championship 2019 against Chile in Santiago on Feb 2. They’ll next face Argentina XV in Rio Negro on Feb 9 before all teams rest for a bye week.

USA will play their final three matches of the competition in America with a Feb 23 matchup against Brazil in Texas; as well as two final games in Seattle against Uruguay on Mar 2 and rival-Canada on Mar 8. The first two are considered home games for the Eagles with the final counted as a home game for Canada.

Tickets to see the U.S. Men’s National Team face Brazil, Uruguay and rival-Canada are available now at usarugby.org/tickets.

All matches of the Americas Rugby Championship 2019 will be broadcast LIVE on FloRugby in the United States.

USA Men’s Eagles Squad by the Numbers

*numbers do not reflect changes made after the initial announcement

35 athletes
19 forwards
16 backs
19 former All-Americans across the high school, junior and collegiate levels
14 played for a D1A rugby program in college
20 former American football players from an official program
10 former basketball players from an official program
11 is the average age athletes started playing rugby
19 is the age of the youngest player
34 is the age of the oldest player
14 is the average player cap number
3 uncapped players
5 matches (4 at the test level)
3 countries visited (Chile, Argentina, USA)

USA Men’s Eagles Squad (Updated 1/29) 

View Feb 17 squad changes 

Player Position Club Caps
David Ainuu Prop Toulouse (FRA) 2
Malon Al-Jiboori Flanker / No. 8 Glendale Raptors 1
Dylan Audsley Wing San Diego Legion 6
Nick Boyer Scrumhalf San Diego Legion 1
Marcel Brache Wing Western Force/Perth (AUS) 12
Nate Brakeley Lock Rugby United New York 15
Bryce Campbell Center London Irish (ENG) 21
Nick Civetta Lock Doncaster Knights (ENG) 18
Shaun Davies Scrumhalf Glendale Raptors 19
Ruben de Haas Scrumhalf Free State Cheetahs (RSA) 7
Cam Dolan No. 8 NOLA Gold 40
Dylan Fawsitt Hooker Rugby United New York 7
Hanco Germishuys Flanker Glendale Raptors 11
James Hilterbrand Hooker Manly Marlins (AUS) 16
Will Hooley Flyhalf Bedford Blues (ENG) 6
Titi Lamositele Prop Saracens (ENG) 26
Paul Lasike Center Harlequins (ENG) 9
Tadhg Leader Flyhalf New England Free Jacks uncapped
AJ MacGinty Flyhalf Sale Sharks (ENG) 20
Will Magie Flyhalf Glendale Raptors 19
Peter Malcolm Hooker Austin Elite 11
Gannon Moore Wing Utah Warriors 2
Paul Mullen Prop Houston Sabercats 6
Greg Peterson Lock Bordeaux Bégles (FRA) 20
Kapeli Pifeleti Hooker San Diego Legion uncapped
John Quill Flanker Rugby United New York 29
Tevita Tameilau Flanker Glasgow Warriors (SCO) 12
Joe Taufete’e Hooker Worcester Warriors (ENG) 19
Mike Te’o Wing San Diego Legion 21
Duncan Van Schalkwyk Scrumhalf Life University uncapped
Dino Waldren Prop London Scottish (ENG) 15
Chance Wenglewski Prop Lindenwood University 1
Harley Wheeler Wing Life University 0

*Unavailable due to injury (updated 1/29): Blaine Scully, Nate Augspurger, Psalm Wooching, Eric Fry, Tony Lamborn

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)
Team Doctor | Sam Akhavan (Brazil)
Head Athletic Trainer | Kevin Ng
Assistant Athletic Trainer | Kristen Douhan
Massage Therapist | Daliah Hurwitz
Team Manager | Chris Hanson

Americas Rugby Championship 2019 Schedule

LIVE on FloRugby in the United States

Saturday, Feb. 2
vs Chile | Time TBA
Santiago, CHL

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

BYE WEEK

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

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About the Full Squad

A full squad is a pool of athletes who will assemble with the team and be available for selection at some point within a competition window. Starting rosters for each game within the competition window can be selected from this pool of athletes with occasional replacements made to cover injuries and player availability.

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

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

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