Testing Out Or Fronting Up? Eagle Lineup Breakdown

Miss Pass: What Would You Do?

Is the Eagle lineup a surprise, or did we just get it wrong? 

In this week's Miss Pass we speculated on how Gary Gold would approach picking his team to face Canada. We figured Gold would rest some regular starters, and he is, sort of, and he's not, sort of.

A Mix Up Front

Take a look at the props and you see two very experienced guys coming in. But at the same time, we on the Miss Pass Show knew we'd see Eric Fry and Titi Lamositele because we haven't seen much of them of late. So, clearly, Gold is in a good position here, in that he's starting seasoned players who just need a little game time.

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Same goes for hooker. Joe Taufete'e was a bit of a question mark as he's been dealing with an injury, and as a result, Gold has started three different hookers and used four — none of them Taufete'e.

He's seen those guys, now back to the player with 20 tries in 22 test matches.

At lock, we kind of expected to see Ben Landry and Nate Brakeley. With Greg Peterson being pretty much a lock at lock and Nick Civetta working his way back from injury, Gold went for the big GP over testing a different combination.

Landry, by virtue of this pick, looks to be settled nicely into this squad and he deserves it.

Ben Landry Bandages And All


The back row is kind of full of questions. It's hard to know which flanker combination is exactly the right one. This looks close to a front-line group, though, and Cam Dolan is the only No. 8. Dreams of testing out Riekert Hattingh were dashed when he hurt his knee. 

USA Names Lineup To Face Canada

So Dolan has to play, even though this writer said he wouldn't. The message is more: he doesn't have to, but he's the guy, and that's that.

Malon Al-Jiboori is still raw in some ways, but his athletic stats are very strong. He, Brakeley, and Olive Kilifi are on the bench with one more audition to give. The rest are cover.

Getting It Right

The Miss Pass guys got it pretty much right in the backline. No AJ MacGinrty; the scrumhalves we've been seeing take a rest. Marcel Brache gets a look in the #13 jersey. The only place Miss Pass got it wrong was thinking Gold would start Mike Te'o and rest Blaine Scully.


Scully's in no mood to rest up and Te'o will get his chance. Martin Iosefo has a key role to play on the left wing.

The halfback combination of Nate Augspurger and Will Magie makes sense. Both players need one more moment, and this start is it. Both will likely make the World Cup squad, but can't go into the World Cup cold.

So this is a strong USA team, especially in the tight five. It's one with a few players still playing for spots, and a few still playing for regular starting spots. But it's not a second-string side at all, and while Canada will be geared up and ready in Vancouver, this lineup can beat them.

Rugby Rules 101: What Does "Ruck" Mean?

For new players to the game of rugby, the concept of a "ruck" can be a tricky one to apprehend, as there is no other sport that involves rucking. However, once you've got a clearer picture of a ruck, also known as a "breakdown", it's a relatively easy thing to understand. 

Premiership Rugby Eyes Mid-August Return

Following the league shutdown due to coronavirus in March, the Gallagher Premiership looks set for a return to action on August 15th. One week ago, UK government officials announced that elite-level sports would be able to resume on June 1st behind closed doors. 

The 5 Best Women's Rugby Shorts

Having a comfortable pair of rugby shorts can greatly impact one’s performance during training and games. When choosing shorts, you want to take into consideration the fit and the durability, especially if you’re going to be in the scrum. The last thing you would want is for your shorts to rip during a scrum because the fabric was not durable enough. In addition to the durability, you want to make sure the shorts are breathable and comfortable for tackling, running, and potentially kicking. If you’re in the market for a new pair of shorts, here are five different types of shorts that you can check out:

Rugby vs Soccer: Former SEC Soccer Player Compares The Two

One of the great things about rugby is that it's a multi-skilled sport which lends itself well to crossover athletes. Particularly in a sports-mad country like the United States, we see tons of players seamlessly make the transition from other sports to rugby. 

How To Throw A Great Rugby Pass

Throwing a great pass can carve up a defense unlike any other facet of the game in rugby. A well-timed, well-placed ball puts a defense under enormous pressure and causes fractures in the defensive line. As long as the ball is placed accurately, on time, and in a position that the receiver can catch the ball on the move without breaking stride, it doesn't matter what it looks like. Heck, if we're looking at football, think of Peyton Manning's passes. One of the best quarterbacks in the history of the game rarely threw a spiral, but he did tick the boxes of accurate, on time, and in stride. 

Some Useful Rugby Passing Drills

Here is a quick, easy passing progression that will help you and your team sharpen your distribution skills and carve opponents up on the weekends. Even the best defenses in the world cannot defend near-perfect passing, so having the ability to run-catch-pass is one of the most lethal weapons in the book. 

We Stand With You

The events of the last week have been tremendously painful to us all.

Rugby Drills That Keep Your Social Distance

As of June 1st, many rugby teams have been granted the option of getting together to conduct practice. However, the practices must adhere to the six feet social distancing rules and players are not allowed to use any equipment. Therefore, options for a practice plan are going to be extremely limited, but that doesn't mean you can't still get some good out of having the team together. 

Bring Em Down: How To Tackle Big Guys In Rugby

For many of rugby players out there, especially us smaller ones, we're all too familiar with the sight of a large, rampaging big man or woman lined up across from us about to get the ball. Our fight or flight instincts kick in, and in that moment of instinctual reaction we dictate the likelihood that the tackle does or does not get made. 

Step By Step Guide: How To Break Tackles In Rugby

One of the best ways to completely unhinge a defense is to beat your defender one on one with a step or a tackle bust. While not all of us can step like Cheslin Kolbe, we do all have the ability to break a tackle and get our team on the front foot. No matter your size, speed, or strength, you can always bust out of a tackle with some clever use of footwork and a trust in your balance.