USA

Ikeys 'star' on Eagles roster

Tue, 29 Oct 2013 08:35
Derek-asbun2
We felt they each did a good job of leading the team
Quote-end

Derek Asbun, a member of the University of Cape Town Varsity Cup squad, will feature on the American national team roster for their year-end Test matches.

US Eagles coach Mike Tolkin selected 33 players for the three matches in November - starting with the nearly-sold out match against the New Zealand Maori team at Philadelphia's PPL Park on November 9.

Asbun, born in California, was named an All-American in 2010 and 2011 and also earned his Oxford Blues as a player in the 2011-12 season.

He was a member of the London Wasps extended squad, playing Sevens and A-League games.

He made his US Eagles debut in June 2012 and again played in November 2012.

He currently resides in Cape Town, South Africa, and plays for the Ikey Tigers (UCT) in the Varsity Cup and local league competitions.

The Eagles coach, Tolkin, said 26 players will be in assembly in Pennsylvania next week - including international professionals Todd Clever, Scott LaValla and Andrew Suniula.

Luke Hume also returns to the Eagles after a trial with Gloucester in the off-season.

Tbilisi will host the Eagles and Georgia on November 16 and Saracens' new Allianz Park will be home to the Eagles when they take on Russia November 23.

The Eagles are coming off of successive defeats during the mid-year campaign, while the Men's Eagles Select XV placed second at the IRB Americas Rugby Championship in October - with wins against Canada and Uruguay.

"I was very pleased because we got some of the more experienced players more playing time and we got some young, up-and-coming talent some exposure to that level," Tolkin said.

Cameron Dolan, Toby L'Estrange and Phil Thiel, who were members of the Eagles during the mid-year tour, each captained the Selects for a match during the ARC and will be with the team for all three matches next month.

"We wanted to give each of those guys some time of grabbing hold of the leadership position," Tolkin said.

"We felt they each did a good job of leading the team and guiding some of the younger guys along. I thought it was a good experience for them."

Other standouts from the ARC taking spots on the November roster include Joe Cowley and Tim Maupin, who combined for 25 of the Selects' 30 points in the 30-10 win against Canada last month.

Cowley has company at his position of fullback with Adam Siddall scheduled to be available for all three matches and Blaine Scully and Chris Wyle being made available for the European leg for the Tour.

"I think that any team has to be prepared for all circumstances," Tolkin said of the selection. "Whenever you can get depth like that you're more prepared for any circumstance that comes your way.

"We know [Cowley and Maupin] show great potential to move into these spots. Things change pretty rapidly in international rugby and, if we're ready for it and we have competition coming from below, it's a healthy environment."

John Cullen, former University of Utah football player, was a late call-up to the ARC and will travel with the team in November. Joining Cullen is former Utah Men's Rugby Head Coach Blake Burdette. Burdette made his Eagles debut back in 2006 against Uruguay in South America and has earned nine caps in his career.

"Blake brings a lot of experience," Tolkin said of the 33-year-old prop. "He is a great athlete in his own right and that's why he was an Eagle the first time around. He's a great player to bring into the front row. It's nice to have a veteran in there who's been through it to bring experience and leadership and a real competitive quality he had the first time around."

Brian Doyle, Liam Murphy, John Quill and Louis Stanfill are all unavailable due to injury, while Danny Barrett was also unavailable for selection. Samu Manoa, Scully and Wyles will join the team in Tbilisi for the second match of the Tour.

The three November Tests will be the final tune-up before the important 2015 World Cup qualifier playoff against Uruguay next March.

The Selects defeated a near-full Uruguay side 20-8 at the ARC last month.

The 2012 November tour was the first time the Eagles had won a Test series in over a decade with wins against Romania and Russia.

"Last year we were certainly thinner," Tolkin said.

"We had a good tour and guys played well, but we were a lot thinner. Going into this tour, we have more depth. We'd like to get back into winning ways and tag on the back of our performance at the ARC. And we'd like to establish who our top 15 and top 23 are going into the Uruguay playoff."

United States Eagles (under heading player, club and matches for which he is available): Derek Asbun (University Cape Town - v Georgia, v Russia) Inaki Basauri (Tarbes Pyrenees - v Georgia) Blake Burdette (New York Athletic Club - v Maori All Blacks, v Georgia, v Russia), Todd Clever (NTT Communications Shining Arcs - v Maori All Blacks, v Georgia ,v Russia) Joe Cowley (Life Rugby - v Maori All Blacks, v Georgia, v Russia), John Cullen (Seattle-OPSB - v Maori All Blacks, v Georgia, v Russia), Peter Dahl (Belmont Shore - v Maori All Blacks), Shaun Davies (Unattached - v Maori All Blacks, v Georgia, v Russia), Cameron Dolan (Life Rugby - v Maori All Blacks, v Georgia, v Russia), Zach Fenoglio (Glendale - v Maori All Blacks, v Georgia, v Russia), Eric Fry (London Scottish - v Georgia, v Russia), Graham Harriman (Metropolis - v Maori All Blacks, v Georgia, v Russia), Luke Hume (Unattached - v Maori All Blacks, v Georgia, v Russia), Seamus Kelly (University of California - v Maori All Blacks, v Georgia, v Russia), Titi Lamositele (Saracens - v Maori All Blacks, v Georgia, v Russia), Patrick Latu (Metropolis - v Maori All Blacks), Scott LaValla (Stade Francais - v Maori All Blacks, v Georgia, v Russia), Toby L'Estrange (New York Athletic Club - v Maori All Blacks, v Georgia, v Russia), Samu Manoa (Northampton Saints - v Georgia, v Russia), Tim Maupin (San Francisco Golden Gate - v Maori All Blacks, v Georgia, v Russia), Folau Niua (Men's Eagles Sevens - v Maori All Blacks, v Georgia, v Russia), Zach Pangelinan (Old Mission Beach Athletic Club - v Maori All Blacks, v Georgia, v Russia), Mike Petri (New York Athletic Club - v Maori All Blacks, v Georgia), Shawn Pittman (Seattle-OPSB - v Maori All Blacks, v Georgia, v Russia), Blaine Scully (Leicester Tigers - v Georgia, v Russia), Robbie Shaw (Esher - v Russia), Adam Siddall (Old Blue - v Maori All Blacks, v Georgia, v Russia), Kyle Sumsion (Brigham Young University - v Maori All Blacks), Andrew Suniula (London Wasps - v Maori All Blacks, v Georgia, v Russia), Phil Thiel (Life Rugby - v Maori All Blacks, v Georgia, v Russia), Tai Tuisamoa (Old Mission Beach Athletic Club - v Maori All Blacks, v Russia), Nick Wallace (Olympic Club - v Maori All Blacks, v Georgia, v Russia), Chris Wyles (Saracens - v Georgia, v Russia).

Coaching staff:
Mike Tolkin - Head Coach
William (Billy) Millard - Assistant Coach
Justin Fitzpatrick - Assistant Coach
Phil Bailey - Assistant Coach
Dave Williams - Assistant Coach
Chris O'Brien - Kicking Coach
Paul Goulding - Video Analyst
Matt Schmitz - Doctor (v Georgia, v Russia)
Marc Kowalsky - Doctor (v Maori All Blacks)
Richard Quincy - Physio
Zach Vyhananek - Physio (v Georgia, v Russia)
Rob Wassilak - Physio (v Maori All Blacks)
John O'Donnell - Physio (v Maori All Blacks)
Sarah Sall - Massage Therapist (v Maori All Blacks)
Tristan Lewis - Manager

Schedule:
November 9: v New Zealand Maori All Blacks, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - Kick-off: 19.00 (00.00 November 10)
November 16: v Georgia, Tbilisi, Georgia - Kick-off: 14.00 local time (10.00 GMT; 05.00 USET)
November 23: v Russia, London, England - Kick-off: 15.00 local time (15.00 GMT; 10.00 USET)

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