Eagles face triple threat

Fri, 02 Nov 2012 10:59
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The USA Eagles will take on Russia and Tonga in Wales before facing Romania in Bucharest on their year-end tour.

The USA Eagles will take on Russia and Tonga in Wales before facing Romania in Bucharest on their year-end tour.

The Eagles take good momentum into the tour, as they return most of their core group of players from last summer.  

The team has a strong record against Russia, one that includes victories in the 2011 Churchill Cup and 2011 World Cup. Tonga came out on top in last year’s Churchill Cup, so the Eagles will be looking for revenge in their second match.

Meanwhile, Romania sits only one spot behind the Eagles in the current IRB rankings, setting up a key matchup in the final game of the tour.

"We hope to pick up from some of the strides we made in summer," said Eagles coach Mike Tolkin. "We feel the team systems and culture have taken root and that we can play with more confidence. Our goal is to try to win the series."

The tour will provide players a chance to solidify their positions heading into next summer, as well as gain valuable experience on the national team.

"We look forward to seeing the new players on the squad show what they can do at this level, and we hope they can add value," said Tolkin.  "We also look for the squad veterans to take leadership positions and play fundamentally sound and exciting rugby, with an uncompromising mental toughness," he added.

Samu Manoa, an important player for the Eagles, is suffering from a minor shoulder injury and will not participate in the tour. Additionally, Mike Petri will join the team late, on November 7.

USA Eagles squad: Derek Asbun, Inaki Basauri, Chris Biller, Chris Chapman, Todd Clever  (captain), Peter Dahl, Cornelius Dirksen, Brian Doyle, Paul Emerick, Zach Fenoglio, Eric Fry, Graham Harriman, Luke Hume, Scott LaValla, Toby L'Estrange, Gearoid McDonald, Takudzwa Ngwenya, Zach Pangelinan, Mike Petri, Shawn Pittman, Anthony Purpura, John Quill, Robbie Shaw, Louis Stanfill, Andrew Suniula, Roland Suniula, Nicholas Wallace.

USA Eagles fixtures:

v Russia, November 9, Eirias Park, Conwy County, Wales
v Tonga, November 17, Eirias Park, Conwy County, Wales
v Romania, November 24, Stadionul National de Rugby Arcul de Triumf, Bucharest, Romania