O'Sullivan unveils Churchill squad
May 20, 2010
Biarritz wing Takudzwa Ngwenya will be back in USA colours this summer © Getty Images
Eddie O'Sullivan has named his USA squad for the Churchill Cup and is hoping his players use the tournament as a dry run for next year's World Cup.
Captain Todd Clever is one of ten players who will miss the competition through injury, but the former Ireland coach has still named a 29-strong squad for their campaign which starts in Colorado against Russia on June 5. The squad is based across seven different countries.
France A, Russia, Uruguay, Canada and England Saxons are also taking part in the tournament. The pool games take place in Colorado and the final will take place in New York on June 19. The Eagles open their World Cup campaign in New Zealand on September 11, 2011 against O'Sullivan's former team Ireland and will also face Australia, Italy and the Russians and the Irishman is looking for his players to stake a claim for a place in his final squad.
"The Churchill Cup is very important on many fronts," he said. "It allows players an opportunity to strengthen their positions within the Eagles pool, it allows us to see Russia up close and personal for the first time in a while and it exposes the players to a tournament format that is very similar to the model that will operate next year in New Zealand. These are all important as parts of our development on the road to Rugby World Cup 2011, which is just 15 months away."
O'Sullivan took charge of the Eagles in March 2009 and guided them to RWC qualification with a play-off victory over Uruguay last November.
USA Squad for the Churchill Cup:
Backs: N Edwards (New York Athletic Club), P Emerick (Parma), T Enosa (Belmont Shore), C Hawley (California), N Malifa (Belmont Shore), T Ngwenya (Biarritz Olympique), M Petri (New York Athletic Club), P Tuilevuka (Provo Steelers), V Rouse (Te Kawau), J Sifa (Midleton), A Suniula (Chicago Griffins), K Swiryn (Old Puget Sound Beach), T Usasz (Nottingham), C Wyles (Saracens).
Forwards: C Biller (San Francisco Golden Gate), P Danahy (Life University), JJ Gaganio (Cape Town University), M Hawkins (Belmont Shore), B Howard (Old Puget Sound Beach), N Johnson (Denver Barbarians), D LaPrevotte (San Francisco Golden Gate), S Lavalla (Dublin University), M Moeakiola (Sporting Club Albi), L Peters (Gentlemen of Aspen), S Pittman (Bayside), J Sprague (New York Athletic Club), L Stanfill (Canberra Royals), P Thiel (Life University), J Van der Giessen (Sporting Club Albi).
The time for tinkering is over - England must nail their colours to the mast in key positions, writes Phil Vickery
"New Zealand-born Joe Schmidt has forged the Irish into a street-smart, well- prepared side," John Mitchell on the Irish renaissance
"I am bored of hearing 'I can't fault the effort'. Let us take that for granted and look for some quality." John Taylor writes
Reports comparing the 2014 Wallabies with their rabble-like predecessors of 2005 are unfair and self-serving, Greg Growden reports