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US Name Churchill Cup Squad

US Name Churchill Cup Squad

Intermin USA coach Peter Thorburn has named his squad for the Barclays Churchill Cup, which will see the Eagles take on Ireland ‘A’ on Saturday.

…Dublin University coach Tony Smeeth who is Peter Thorburn’s assistant coach for the US Eagles’ summer campaign…

Interim USA coach Peter Thorburn has named his squad for the Barclays Churchill Cup, which will see the Eagles take on Ireland ‘A’ on Saturday.

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Of the 28 players selected in the US squad, eleven are based in the American Super League, nine are from American Division One, five play overseas and three are tied to colleges.

The Pool B opener between the US Eagles and Ireland ‘A’ will be held at the Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, California on Saturday at 2.00pm US West Coast time (10.00pm Irish time). The game is being broadcast live on Sky Sports 3 – IrishRugby.ie will also be carrying live text updates on this site from 9.30pm onwards.

Thorburn, who linked up with the US in April, said: “We’re very excited about this team. We’ve got very good athletes and good runners. Obviously we have things we need to work on, we have fine tuning to do in a short period of time, but that will be our jobs to get the players to respond.”

Cardiff Blues back row Kort Schubert will captain the side. The holder of 43 Test caps, the Californian also skippered the US in their 55-6 defeat to Ireland at Lansdowne Road in November 2004.

Centre/full back Paul Emerick and winger Albert Tuipulotu are both absentees for the clash with Ireland ‘A’ – the pair play in Italy with Parma and will not be returning to the States until this coming Sunday.

The 66-year-old Thorburn is a wily operate. He was most recently a selector for the New Zealand Under-19s. He coached the All Blacks to the 1989 Hong Kong Sevens title. From 1992 to 1993 and between 2000 and 2001 he was an All Blacks selector, and has also had stints at the helm of the Under-21s and ‘A’ team and in England (as forwards coach, director of rugby and head coach of Bristol Shoguns).

Thorburn initially came to prominence during his time at North Harbour, where he won three national titles between 1985 and 1991. Dublin University coach Tony Smeeth, who is sure to have some inside knowledge on the Ireland ‘A’ side, is assisting the US this summer.

The Eagles also face Barbados in California (Saturday, July 1) and Canada in Newfoundland (Saturday, August 12) in qualifiers for the 2007 World Cup.



Mark Aylor (Austin), Patrick Bell (Life), Todd Clever (Mahurangi (New Zealand)), Mike French (OMBAC), Carl Hansen (Olympic Club), Scott Lawrence (Life), Owen Lentz (WRFC), Mike MacDonald (Leeds Tykes (England)), Chris Osentowski (Belmont Shore), Mike Mangan (Chicago Griffins), Hayden Mexted (St. Louis Bombers), Tony Petruzzella (Olympic Club), Brian Schoener (OPSB), John Tarpoff (St. Louis Bombers), Kort Schubert (Cardiff Blues (Wales)) (captain).

BACKS (13) –

Brian Barnard (Golden Gate), Paul Emerick (Parma (Italy)), Vahafalau Esikia (Blackjacks), Jeff Hullinger (BYU), Jason Kelly (Denver Barbarians), Tyson Meek (Denver Barbarians), Jeremy Nash (Chicago Lions), Mike Palefau (Haggis), Albert Tuipulotu (Parma (Italy)), Salesi Sika (BYU), Mose Timoteo (Hayward), Alipate Tuilevuka (BYU), Francois Viljoen (Belmont Shore).