Messages And Notes From USA Selects

Colleen McCloskey usa-v-uru-2017-bryce-campbell-mccloskey-5071.jpg
The USA Selects have revealed their squad that will play in the Americas Pacific Challenge on Oct. 7-15 in Montevideo, Uraguay. Here are some comments from the coaching staff and notes about the 27-man roster following Wednesday's announcement.

Scott Lawrence Will Coach, And Then He Won't

Lawrence, who led the USA U20s to a Junior World Trophy title in 2012 and has been at the forefront of Life University's success in college and men's rugby, will be the head coach of the USA Selects.

2012 USA U20 team wins the 2012 Junior World Rugby Trophy. P Crane photo.

This is a smart decision by USA Rugby because Lawrence is a detailed taskmaster who does well with young players. He won't be soft, but he will help them along as they learn what it takes to be an international.

However, it also has come to light that Lawrence will not be the USA Eagles national team head coach. Lawrence was touted as a front-runner for the job, possibly the only runner. But that won't happen. FloRugby learned earlier in the summer that the Selects coach would not be the national team coach, and in fact the search for the Eagles head coach is still, as we understand, ongoing.

Youngsters Are Now Old

It wasn't that long ago that the likes of Bryce Campbell, Peter Malcolm, Ben Cima, and Ben Landry were new players breaking into international rugby. Now they are the veterans that Lawrence expects to become leaders.

They should do fine, but it's a case of the tournament as a whole being a step up for someone. For some players, just being there is a new experience and for some, coming back means they have to carry more weight on their shoulders.

"We're looking for players to be identified for the November test series," Lawrence told FloRugby. "And if not then, we're looking toward June. That's a big part of it."

Ben Cima. Colleen McCloskey photo.

Same Old Issues

The Eagles are still looking for props and for height at lock. This has been an issue for a while and continues to be the case. (Yes, there are tall locks in the USA system but not a lot.) In addition, the search for the right kind of flyhalf continues. Again, there are good No.10s playing in the USA system, but you need someone who can run, kick, and pass at a world-class level. Often, Lawrence says, you get two of those three, and you need all three.

A Second Look

Several players are in the Selects looking for a second chance. It's not that they did anything wrong. It's just that their journey to the Eagles got derailed for one reason or another. There's Ben Landry, who tried football for a while; Lemoto Filikitonga and Aladdin Schirmer, who both suffered injury; Brendan Daly, who was playing club rugby but not, seemingly, making that final push; and Tim Maupin, who was doing just fine but got lost in the shuffle for some reason.

Tim Maupin in the 2014 ARC.

First Chances

This could be an important assembly for Psalm Wooching, as he comes back to the game after playing football at the University of Washington. He still has a lot to work on, but he has some tools. Ruben de Haas has been working his way up the ladder and has proved to be smart, a leader, and a talent even when he's counted among the youngest players on one of his teams. He's playing with the Cheetahs Academy in South Africa and doing well there. A bunch of college guys are getting their first senior USA look, but watch out for Alex Vorster, who's considered, perhaps, the next best hooker hope for the Eagles.

USA Rugby Selects
2017 Americas Pacific Challenge
Huluholo Moungaloa Life West Prop
Kelepi Fifita Glendale Raptors Prop
Peter Malcolm Austin Huns/Wheeling Jesuit Hooker
Alex Vorster Brigham Young University Hooker
Alex Maughan Life University Prop
Patrick Ryan Unattached Prop
Angus Maclellan Chicago Lions Prop
Matthew Jensen Brigham Young University Lock
Brendan Hardiman San Francisco Golden Gate Lock
Ben Landry Glendale Raptors Lock
Brendan Daly San Francisco Golden Gate Lock
Jack Kaka Brigham Young University Flanker
Aladdin Schirmer Seattle Saracens Flanker
Psalm Wooching Seattle Saracens/University of Washington Flanker
Hanco Germishuys Austin Huns No. 8
Ruben De Haas Little Rock Stormers Scrumhalf
Holden Yungert Saint Mary's College Scrumhalf
Ben Cima Rocky Gorge Flyhalf
Mike McCarthy Saint Mary's College Flyhalf
Bryce Campbell Glendale Raptors/Indiana University Center
Lemoto Filikitonga San Francisco Golden Gate Center
Josh Whippy Brigham Young University Center
Martini Talapusi Life West Center
Zach Pangelinan Old Mission Beach Athletic Club Wing
Mitch Wilson Life University Fullback
Jean-Pierre Eloff Chicago Lions Fullback
Tim Maupin Saint Mary's College, Dublin Wing
Home-Based Reserves
Jacob Finau San Francisco Golden Gate Hooker
John Hayden Seattle Saracens Prop
Siaosi Mahoni Life West Lock
Maciu Koroi Life University Back Row
Devreaux Ferris Life West Scrumhalf
Kalei Konrad Old Mission Beach Athletic Club Flyhalf
Vetekina Malafu Kutztown University Wing
Lorenzo Thomas Lindenwood University Center
Marcus Tupuola Notre Dame College Wing
Chance Wengleski Lindenwood University Prop

Men's USA Selects Tour Staff:
Head Coach: Scott Lawrence
Assistant Coach: JD Stephenson
Assistant Coach: Scott Murray
Assistant Coach/Analyst: James Harrison
Team Manager: Chris Hanson
Athletic Trainer: Kevin Ng
Team Physician: Alexandra Myers

A&M Holds Off Texas To Win Red River South

Alex Goff TAMU Team 2018.jpg Hood And Brown Break Down Texas A&M Victory

Texas A&M clinched the Red River South with a difficult 19-5 victory over a tenacious University of Texas team.

Much At Stake In Army-Navy Game

Colleen McCloskey Navy-Army-2016-McCloskey-1219.jpg

Army plays Navy this Saturday in Annapolis, Maryland, in a rivalry game to beat all rivalry games, and there’s even more than bragging rights at stake.

Three Questions For PRP To Answer This Weekend

Brian Jackson Belmont Shore v OMBAC Brian Jackson.jpg OMBAC Shows Patience To Get Tuisamoa His Hat Trick

Round six of the Pacific Rugby Premiership is here, and there are three midseason questions to ask ahead of Saturday's games.

Major College Games & Our Picks: Still Work To Do For Bubble Teams

Colleen McCloskey Navy_Dartmouth-1309.jpg Life's Alex Maughan Looks Ahead To Rematch With Lindenwood

How much, really, is at stake this weekend?

Samurai PRP Player Of The Week: Devereaux Ferris, Life West

Devereaux Ferris PRP POM March 17.jpg Life West Scores The Gamewinner

There's something to be said about sparking a comeback.

Beating Army #1 Goal As McNerney Leads Navy

Colleen McCloskey Navy_AirForce-1046.jpg

The answer is the same after every Navy game. Ask any opposing coach which Midshipmen player gave his team the most trouble and he will reply: "Their No. 8, their 18, that guy, Connor McNerney."

USA U18 Boys Qualify For Youth Olympics After All

Colleen McCloskey 2018 Youth Olmypic Qualifier Colleen McCloskey 1406.jpg Junior Waqavesi Talks Youth Olympics Qualifier

The USA Boys U18 sevens team has received a berth to the Youth Olympic Games this fall thanks to the successful qualification of Canada's boys field hockey squad.

College Playoffs: Confidence Picks

David Barpal ConfidencePicks1.jpg

We could say things are heating up in college rugby, but they are actually closer to a boiling point. It's now time to make some major predictions for both the D1A and D1AA playoffs.

It's All On The Line As A&M Hosts UT Live On FloRugby

Texas A-M March 2018 4.jpg

The title race implications are very straightforward on Saturday: If Texas A&M beats Texas at home, then the Aggies are in the Red River Conference final.

FloRugby's Midseason PRP All-Star Team

Brian Jackson photo Belmont Shore v Santa Monica Brian Jackson 2018 7.jpg PRP Top Plays Round 4

The Pacific Rugby Premiership is halfway through its season, and it's time to pick a midseason all-star team.