Rugby News & Views From an American Perspective
The new face that is drawing alot of interest because he seemingly came out of nowhere is Gavin DeBartolo. DeBartolo, a fullback, is a surprise entry into the Eagles squad, but brings a ton of experience and skill with him. Just as Chris Wyles came out of England a little over a year ago to make an impact with the Eagles, DeBartolo could come in and make the same sort of splash.
“He’s probably one of the most talented footballers I’ve seen,” said former Wallaby Morgan Turinui when asked about DeBartolo. “He’s got all the skills. For him it’s the top two inches (the head), going back and concentrating on improving himself physically and turning up consistently every week.”
DeBartolo currently plays for the Eastern Suburbs Club in Sydney, but starred in last year’s Australian Rugby Championship for the Sydney Fleet, and spent a season playing in the Super 14 for the Western Force where he scored one try in four matches. Last year Debartolo won Sydney club rugby’s major prize, the Ken Catchpole Medal for his outstanding play.
How he qualifies as an Eagle is still a mystery as it appears that he was born and raised in Australia. That leaves the chance that one of his parents may be an American. However it slices up, the Eagles have added an immensly talented rugby player to their squad.
Entering its sixth year, the Barclays Churchill Cup, will feature its pool play matches in Ottawa on June 7th, Kingston on June 11th, and Toronto on June 14th, before teams converge on Chicago for the final day of the tournament on June 21st. Finals day will feature all six international teams in a triple header of final matches at Toyota Park in Chicago.
The Eagles open up the tournament against a very strong England Saxon squad that includes quite a few capped Internationals.
The USA Eagles Churchill Cup Squad
Mark Aylor (Life University)
Henry Bloomfield (Belmont Shore)
Todd Clever (OMBAC)
Mark Crick (PAC)
Saimone Laulaupealu (San Francisco Golden Gate)
Jason Lett (Boston Irish Wolfhounds)
Mike MacDonald (Leeds Carnegie)
Matekitonga Moekiola (Pukekohe, New Zealand)
Alec Parker (Aspen)
Kort Schubert (Olympic Club)
Chad Slaby (Chicago Lions)
Louis Stanfill (UC Berkeley)
John Van der Giessen (Denver Barbarians)
Jon Vitale (Chicago Lions)
Ben Weidemer (Belmont Shore)
Mike Petri (NYAC)
Mike Hercus (IBM, Japan)
Valanese Malifa (Belmont Shore)
Paul Emerick (Newport Gwent Dragons)
Salesi Sika (Beziers, France)
Albert Tuipulotu (Beziers, France)
Vaha Esikia (Las Vegas Blackjacks)
Mike Palefau (Petrarca, Italy)
Takudzwa Ngwenya (Biarritz, France)
Chris Wyles (OMBAC)
Gavin DeBartolo (Eastern Suburbs, Australia)