Testing Out Or Fronting Up? Eagle Lineup Breakdown

Miss Pass: What Would You Do?

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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

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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.

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Round 4: Super Rugby Aotearoa/AU Team of the Week

Codie Taylor, Crusaders

With the Australian Super Rugby teams entering the fold this week, the Super Rugby Team of the Week selection just got a whole lot tougher. There were plenty of great performances over the weekend, and a few names on the sheet that continue to show up week in and week out. 

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MLR Nationality Breakdown By Position: New England Freejacks

New England Free Jacks

The other day I was thinking about fly-halves in the MLR -- since that is my position -- and I got to thinking how few American players there are playing fly-half in Major League Rugby. The only ones I could think of off the top of my head were Ben Cima (SEA), Scott Dean (SEA), Tadgh Leader (NE) and Zinzan Elan-Puttick (AUS) -- and it's worth noting that both Leader and Elan-Puttick grew up playing rugby in Ireland and South Africa respectively. 

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10 Monday Notes: Hot Seats In NZ, Super Rugby Kicks Off In AUS

Reds, Harry Wilson

The gifts keep on coming, as Super Rugby AU's new season just got underway this past weekend with two scintillating matchups, while Super Rugby Aotearoa once again dazzled fans. 

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MLR Nationality Breakdown By Position: Houston Sabercats

Houston Sabercats

The other day I was thinking about fly-halves in the MLR -- since that is my position -- and I got to thinking how few American players there are playing fly-half in Major League Rugby. The only ones I could think of off the top of my head were Ben Cima (SEA), Scott Dean (SEA), Tadgh Leader (NE) and Zinzan Elan-Puttick (AUS) -- and it's worth noting that both Leader and Elan-Puttick grew up playing rugby in Ireland and South Africa respectively. 

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More Rugby! Super Rugby Australia Kicks Off With Reds vs Waratahs

Waratahs

Much to the delight of many rugby fans all around the world, Super Rugby began a New Zealand-only competition three weeks ago, giving spectators something great to feast their eyes on after a long rugby layoff since the start of the pandemic. Well, starting this weekend the rugby universe will be treated to another great competition, as Super Rugby now begins its Australian-only league. 

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TWO UNBEATENS REMAIN: Super Rugby Aotearoa Round 4 Preview

Richie Mo'unga, Crusaders

Through three rounds of Super Rugby Aotearoa, it's the Blues and the Crusaders who still remain unbeaten, while the Chiefs and the Hurricanes are still in search of a first victory on the season. The Highlanders, meanwhile, sit at 1-1 after two heart-stopping fixtures against the Chiefs and the Blues. 

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Date Set For New Zealand's North vs South Island Battle

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For the first time since the mid 1980's, New Zealand is set to reintroduce the famous North vs South Island match on August 29th, pitting players from each of the two parts of New Zealand against one another to settle where the best rugby players in the country truly come from. 

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MLR Nationality Breakdown By Position: Colorado Raptors

Colorado Raptors

The other day I was thinking about fly-halves in the MLR -- since that is my position -- and I got to thinking how few American players there are playing fly-half in Major League Rugby. The only ones I could think of off the top of my head were Ben Cima (SEA), Scott Dean (SEA), Tadgh Leader (NE) and Zinzan Elan-Puttick (AUS) -- and it's worth noting that both Leader and Elan-Puttick grew up playing rugby in Ireland and South Africa respectively. 

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Could New Zealand Be Hosting The Entire 2020 Rugby Championship?

New Zealand v South Africa - Rugby World Cup 2019_ Pool B Warren Little Getty Images For World Rugby.jpeg

With much of the world shut down still thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, rumors are swirling that New Zealand could be home to the entire 2020 Rugby Championship. The past three weeks have seen the beginning of the Super Rugby Aotearoa, a competition involving just the four New Zealand Super Rugby franchises. 

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