I have to say, this seems like the most preparation and competition the Eagles have ever had for an international game, and I like it! This is do or die time for the Eagles as losing to Uruguay, something which has only happened once since 1989 with a 2002 match lost by a 10-9 margin, would keep them out of the Rugby World Cup. This blogger is headed to England in 2015 with all the America apparel she owns!
The Eagles are clearly not treading lightly or taking anything for granted about their opponents as illustrated by their recent domestic player camp. 4 days of training culminated in a dominant 43-20 performance in a scrimmage over Life University. It was a large assembly that allowed for more players to be evaluated than ever before; now 27 Eagle hopefuls convene once again in Atlanta for further assessments. This next domestic camp and 2nd test with Life provides quite the competitive atmosphere for players to stand out and be named to the 11 remaining RWCQ slots before the international players are released back to the States. The full team will assemble for yet another camp in Florida prior to departing for South America.
Their home and away series kicks off in Montevideo on March 22nd and returns to the USA on March 29th at Kennesaw State University, hosts of the recent Atlanta 7s leg of the iRB Women's Sevens World Series.
Here's more from USA Rugby:
Rugby World Cup Qualifier Camp Selections Announced
BOULDER, Colo. – Men’s Eagles Head Coach Mike Tolkin has released the Men’s Eagles squad for the preliminary Rugby World Cup 2015 Qualifier Camp in Atlanta, Ga.
Returning Eagles from last fall’s November Tour include Derek Asbun, Joe Cowley, John Culled, Shaun Davies and Seamus Kelly.
Eric Fry will also join the Eagles at Life University as the Eagles prepare for the two-leg series against Uruguay in Montevideo and Atlanta’s Fifth Third Bank Stadium at Kennesaw State University.
Following the Eagles’ February Domestic Camp, at which he called for 27 players, Tolkin said the weekend was “valuable” and created competition for players on the fringe.
“Guys are really having to compete one-on-one against each other,” he said. “Earning a place on the squad continues to become much more challenging.”
The Eagles will train in Atlanta March 11-15 and scrimmage Life University the final day before Tolkin selects approximately 11 players to travel to Florida, where the overseas professionals will arrive to camp once the international window officially opens.
Though they will not have had as much time with the team, Tolkin said he was not worried about the professionals not being ready for the team’s biggest series of the year.
“They’re in full-time environments playing against good competition week in, week out,” Tolkin said. “That helps a lot. The biggest challenge is getting players from many different clubs to be on the same page in terminology and style in a short time.”
Tickets are still available for the Rugby World Cup 2015 Qualifier at Fifth Third Bank Stadium at Kennesaw State University March 29. Purchase tickets here.
The final Eagles assembly squad for the Qualifier will be announced prior to the team’s departure for South America.
Men's Eagles | Rugby World Cup 2015 Qualifier Camp
Derek Asbun - New York Athletic Club
Garrett Brewer - St. Mary's College
Chris Chapman - New York Athletic Club
Joe Cowley - Life Rugby
Miles Craigwell - Seattle-OPSB
John Cullen - Seattle-OPSB
Shaun Davies - Life Rugby
TC Elliott - Seattle-OPSB
Zach Fenoglio - Glendale Raptors
Eric Fry - London Scottish RFC
Troy Hall - New York Athletic Club
Graham Harriman - James Bay RFC
Seamus Kelly - University of California
Olive Kilifi - Seattle-OPSB
Kelly Kolberg - Dallas RFC
Chad London - Glendale Raptors
Dave Martini - Santa Monica RFC
Tim Maupin - Olympic Club
Adam Siddall - Men's Eagles Sevens*
Louis Stanfill - Seattle-OPSB
Kyle Stroman - Life Rugby
Kyle Sumsion - BYU Rugby
Shalom Suniula - Seattle-OPSB
Phil Thiel - Life Rugby
Tai Tuisamoa - Old Mission Beach Athletic Club
Matt Trouville - Seattle-OPSB
Zach Walker - Life Rugby
Nick Wallace - James Bay RFC
*Pending medical examination
Men's Eagles | Coaching Staff
Mike Tolkin - Head Coach
Billy Millard - Assistant Coach
Justin Fitzpatrick - Assistant Coach
Phil Bailey - Assistant Coach
Dave Williams - Strength and Conditioning Coach
Chris O'Brien - Kicking Coach
James Walton - Video Analyst
Jeff Mjaanes - Doctor
Richard Quincy, Jr. - Physio
Zach Vyhananek - Physio
Sarah Sall - Massage Therapist
Tristan Lewis - Manager