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All Stars taking shape for Lions clash

Sun, 03 Mar 2013 19:53
Andrewsuniularussia Todd-clever--united-states2 Sevensfans
Suniula is a great addition for the team
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USA Eagles coach Mike Tolkin, who will coach the North American All Stars, has released three names of his squad that will face the Lions in April.

Andrew Suniula, Shaun Davies and Graham Harriman will play for the North American All Stars when they meet the Lions on April 13 at California State University's Titan Stadium and on April 20 in Vancouver in a series named the Rugby Showdown.

“Andrew is a hard-running veteran centre who brings leadership to the squad. Shaun is a dynamic and feisty young player who got his first taste of international rugby last summer.

"Graham broke into the Eagles this fall after a promising campaign in the Americas Rugby Championship. He is a good technical lock who has a bright future,” said Tolkin.

Suniula, who comes from a strong rugby background with Eagle brothers Roland and Shalom, has been capped 15 times for the USA Eagles, and played at the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. The powerful centre is a great addition for the team, providing excellent go-forward ball, and is solid on defence.

Davies, the All-American from Brigham Young University, earned his first cap for the USA Eagles last year, and is an up-and-coming talent in the No.9 jersey.

Harriman played for the USA Selects in 2012 at the Americas Rugby Championship and has also attended the Sharks Academy in Durban. Harriman currently plays for the Chicago Griffins with teammate Suniula.

“This game brings a great competitive opportunity for our HP [High Performance] players to be involved in during their domestic season.

“It also gives the fans an opportunity to watch a great professional organisation in their backyard. It will be a brilliant evening,” enthused Tolkin.

The Rugby Showdown has released a new ticket pricing structure and later kick-off time to ensure that the rugby community in Southern California can experience the exciting fixture on April 13, with the match now set to kick-off at 7.30pm.

“This is indeed excellent news for our match against the Lions. Having a large crowd supporting us will definitely add to the excitement of this clash,” said flank Todd Clever, the North American All Stars captain.

The April 13 event will see a festival atmosphere with plenty of action planned for inside and outside Titan Stadium on the beautiful Cal State Fullerton campus.

Several local rugby teams are set to move their play-off matches to this venue, with youth, college, club and old boys fixtures on the schedule. Tournament organisers will be announcing news of the live entertainment in the coming weeks, including a rugby banquet, beer garden and giveaways.

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