Thorburn names squads for NA4 tournament
March 19, 2007
USA Rugby's Men's National Team Head Coach Peter Thorburn officially announced the USA Hawks and Falcons squads for first legs the IRB's North America 4 Tournament.
"Our goal for this tournament is primarily development, getting our team to where it needs to be for the Rugby World Cup. This is a great opportunity to get another look at the players who went to the first Rugby World Cup training camp," Thorburn said. "We will be strategically placing certain athletes on both teams so we can really have a look at how they handle the players around them and how they match up against their competitors."
With the first 2007 NA 4 matches just a few weeks away, Thorburn is excited to take advantage of this opportunity to watch the best in the U.S. go head to head at their first match in San Diego, Calif., where the U.S. Hawks will take on the U.S. Falcons. Rugby Canada will play their East vs. West match on April 7, as well, but north of the border at the University of British Columbia. Both teams will take the next few weeks off from NA4 play, until the next leg of the series takes place on May 9 and 12 at Stanford University
"By the time those second matches at Stanford come around, we would like to have the U.S. Team selected for the Barclays Churchill Cup," Thorburn added. "But, over the next couple months, I will continue to look to Rugby Super League and Divisional Club Tournaments for any players who really step up."
The U.S. will play the Canadian leg of the series in late June and early July across Vancouver. On June 29, they play at the Brockton Oval, on July 3, they play at Burnaby Lake Rugby Club and on July 7, they play at Rotary Stadium.
USA Rugby has also officially announced that Stanford University will be the new location for the U.S. leg of the IRB's North America 4 Tournament showcasing North America's premier rugby competition between USA Rugby and Rugby Canada in America's hotbed for the sport -- Northern California.
Although USA Rugby had initially planned on setting its U.S. portion of this tournament in Seattle, it was unable to reach an agreement with a facility that had the appropriate field and stadium requirements. The move to Palo Alto, Calif. means great things for the NA4 tournament, however, as USA Rugby looks for a significant increase in attendance with the move south. Matches will still be played on May 9 and May 12, but the games held on Wednesday, May 9 will be moved up to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., while the match-ups on Saturday, May 12 will remain at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
"Hosting the North America 4 series at Stanford University in early May creates an extraordinary opportunity to showcase the U.S. in elite international competition to all levels of players and supporters," USA Rugby's CEO Nigel Melville said. "Stanford is an excellent venue to host three major rugby tournaments in the course of a week and USA Rugby will undoubtedly raise the profile of all of these events with our professional staff promoting rugby in the best light possible."
The list of U.S. players, who will be coached by Marty Wiggins and Kevin Battle on the U.S. Hawks squad, include:
Mike French (OMBAC)
Matekitonga Moeakiola (Park City Haggis)
John Vitale (Chicago Lions)
Patrick Bell (Life College)
Mark Crick (PAC)
Alec Parker (Aspen)
Latu Puloka (OMBAC)
Jake Stanfill (OMBAC)
John Van Der Giessen (Santa Barbara)
Inaki Basauri (Massy Essonne - Paris)
Todd Clever (OMBAC)
Jason Lett (Worcester)
M.C. Laubscher (Chicago Lions)
Dan Payne (OMBAC)
Patrick Quinn (Denver Barbarians)
Andrew Ryland (Belmont Shore)
Louis Stanfill (OMBAC)
Douglas Rowe (Old Blue - NY)
David Williams (Denver Barbarians)
Albert Tuipolotu (San Mateo)
Riaan Hamilton (OMBAC)
Nathan Rodgers (Life College)
Brian Barnard (Belmont Shore)
Scott Jones (Chicago Lions)
Kevin Mongold (Scioto Valley)
Takudzwa Ngwenya (Dallas Athletic Rugby Club)
Dom Mara (NYAC)
Jone Naqica (Denver Barbarians)
The list of U.S. team members playing for Adam Friend and Don Ferrell on the U.S. Falcons squad include:
Chris Moreno (Denver Barbarians)
Brian Olmes (PAC)
Aaron Beuhring (PAC)
Brian Lemay (Boston Irish Wolfhounds)
Will Brazier (Old Blue - NY)
Blake Burdette (NYAC)
Owen Lentz (Maryland Exiles)
Adam Casias (Sacramento Lions)
Mike Mangan (Denver Barbarians)
Hayden Mexted (St. Louis)
Ben Weidmer (Belmont Shore)
Mark Aylor (Denver Barbarians)
Jason Geurts (Fresno)
Danny La Prevotte (SF Golden Gate)
Travis Meidinger (Heidelburg - Germany)
Tasi Mounga (SF Golden Gate)
Rikus Pretorius (UC- Berkeley)
Ron Rosser (Belmont Shore)
Kimball Kjar (Park City Haggis)
Mose Timoteo (SF Golden Gate)
Chad Erskine (Waterloo)
Andrew Locke (West Point - USMA)
Philip Eloff (Chicago Lions)
Vaha Esikia (San Mateo)
Alipate Tuilevuka (Park City Haggis)
E. Jeff Hullinger (OMBAC)
Mike Palefau (Narbonne - France)
Chris Wyles (Nottingham/Northhampton - England)
Andrew 'Tui' Osborne (Washington Rugby Club)
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the remarkable events in Brisbane and the first round of the European Rugby Champions Cup
Following Saturday's shock announcement, we look at the highs and the lows of Ewen McKenzie's brief stint as Wallabies coach.
"I think the work I do in defence gets spoken of a little too much as it comes at the expense of what I do in attack." Brad Barritt talks to Tom Hamilton
The European Champions Cup: what's changed and what's new in the revamped competition previously known as the Heineken Cup?