Eagle Men Depth Chart: The Front Row

Joe Taufete'e Gets A Kiss From The Coach

With the naming of the Americas Pacific Challenge roster for the USA Selects, we're getting an idea of what the Eagles overall depth chart might look like.

Watch All Nine Americas Pacific Challenge Games LIVE on FloRugby
Round 1 October 6
Round 2 October 10
Round 3 October 14

The chart has to be big, because the USA often has to field a squad without some of the overseas pros being released. This might be because a game is outside of the official World Rugby test match window, or because players have to hand rest periods, or because a club might be recalcitrant.

And then competitions like the APC aren't full test competitions, so pros don't have to be released.

With all of that in mind, we've got a potential depth chart of over 60 players. It's designed to give you fans an idea of who is out there now. Here's our front row, and our comments:

Prop


Paul MullenNewcastle Falcons (Gallagher Premiership)
Eric FryVannes (France Pro D2)
Chris BaumannUnattached
Titi LamositeleSaracens (Gallagher Premiership)
Olive KilifiSeattle Seawolves (MLR)
Chance WenglewskiLindenwood University
Angus MacLellanUtah Warriors (MLR)
David AinuuToulouse Academy (French Top 14)
Dino WaldrenLond Scottish
Kelepi FifitaGlendale Raptors (MLR)
Tony PurpuraOld Blue
John HaydenSeattle Seawolves (MLR)
Huluholo MoungaloaLife West (PRP)


The prop position needs a few more bodies in there, as it's a position under a ton of physical stress. In addition, notice that five of these players are with overseas pro clubs. 


Rugby Nomad Finds Home At Leicester


To this list we might look at Patrick Ryan of Austin Elite who was perhaps expected too quickly to perform at a test level. He didn't get a lot of positive press from these pages in 2017, but some time to regroup might make him an Eagle again.

We don't have Alex Maughan here because he was listed for the APC as a hooker, but he certainly can be a prop for the USA.

Of these players, Hayden, Kilifi, Fifita, and Wenglewski (as well as Maughan) are in the APC. Least known might be Hayden, who emerged as a force for Seattle, and played with the Fallbrook HS program 13 years ago and was a HS All American before enrolling at Central Washington.

Fifita is two years younger than the 25-year-old Hayden, and hasn't played as long, but he's a solid athlete and mobile.

It will be interesting to see how Moungaloa battles for a spot as he has not been an MLR player, but the Pacific Rugby Premiership has a lot to offer in terms of high-level player development.

Hooker


Joe Taufete'eWorcester Warriors (Gallagher Premiership)
Dylan FawsittGlendale Raptors
James HilterbrandManly Marlins (Australia)
Alex MaughanLife University (Graduated)
Cam FalconNOLA Gold (MLR)
Pat O'TooleSan Diego Legion (MLR)


It's an intriguing move for the Eagles brain trust to slot Maughan in here, but when you consider that Hayden, Fifta, Chance Wenglewski are over six feet tall and north of 260 pounds, and that Maughan is smaller than that, it makes sense. Maughan is an excellent leader and scrummager, and it might be that hooker is the place for him.

Maughan, Falcon, and O'Toole are the APC players, and it's clear Gary Gold needs some depth here. He was down to one hooker when the USA played Canada in June, with flanker Hanco Germishuys probably his backup in that game.

Not listed here is Peter Malcolm, who captained the USA Selects in the APC in 2017. Malcolm is recovering from knee surgery and should be able to play in 2019. If he gets back to full fitness, he's definitely high in this list. There's been some thought that players such as Germyshuys, Vili Toluta'u, or Pat Blair should track to a #2 jersey, but that might negate some of the other things those players bring to the table.

If anyone's asking FloRugby, we'd say keep those guys as flankers.

So Long Samu

Samu Manoa Is Hot

Today, the man known for his hard hits delivered his biggest blow of late. 

Chicago Lions Start 2019 7s Off Right

The Chicago Lions kicked off their 2019 sevens qualifying campaign with a victory at Forest City 7s in Rockford, IL by defeating the Detroit Tradesmen 17-7 in the final. 

Bastareaud, Parra Miss Out on France World Cup Squad

Top 14 SF Highlights: Toulouse v La Rochelle

Experienced pair Mathieu Bastareaud and Morgan Parra missed out on France's 31-man World Cup squad, head coach Jacques Brunel announced on Tuesday.

Black Ferns Select Squad For Super Series

Black Ferns Raring To Go Against USA

New Zealand Women's National Team head coach Glenn Moore has selected 30 players to for the Women's Super Series kicking off June 28 in San Diego.

The Eagle Women 7s Are Much Better; Here's Why

USA Women's Sevens head coach Chris Brown won the Women's World Series Coach of the Year Award, and it was well-deserved.

More Ways To Watch FloRugby

null

Never miss a moment. 

Kaino Eyes World Cup Selection For Toulouse Teammates

Bounce Pass Sets Up Huget's Second

Toulouse captain Jerome Kaino believes the next challenge for his team is to get as many callups to this year's World Cup after France's most decorated side lifted their 20th league title on Saturday. 

Seattle Wins Second MLR Title On Last-Second Try

It's two for two for the Seattle Seawolves as the 2019 Major League Rugby season game to a close Sunday. 

USA Women Win Biarritz 7s

The U-Haul Workout

The USA Women’s Sevens team has made history, winning a Sevens World Series for the first time, as the Eagles beat Russia, Spain, and New Zealand to take home a tournament trophy in the final round of the 2018-19 season.

Atlanta Old White Wins First South Qualiflier

null

Atlanta Old White won the first qualifier of the South club sevens season, defeating Stormers 24-21 in the final.