Rugby America

Rugby News & Views From an American Perspective

Eagles Churchill Cup Squad Named

On Wednesday, USA Rugby announced their 26 man player squad for the upcoming Churchill Cup. New Eagles Head Coach, Scott Johnson, will have an experienced squad to pick from as the squad has plenty of International experience, a former Eagle returning to the squad, and some fresh new faces to the Eagles squad. A quick look at the sqaud shows an incredible amount of talent and depth in the back row and a experienced backline with some striking potential.

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
Forwards:
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)

Backs:
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)

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2 comments on “Eagles Churchill Cup Squad Named

  1. Anonymous
    May 23, 2008

    I really like that our speed on the wings has improved dramatically with Z and DeBartolo. Also, I was a little surprised that ScoJo didn’t include Tim Usasz in the Eagle squad and instead selected him for the Select XV.I like this team, especially with Schubert in the back row.

  2. Hewie
    June 13, 2008

    DeBartolo the most enigmatic and unstructured player in World Rugby. He is serious talent!!

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This entry was posted on May 22, 2008 by in Rugby News.

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