Americas Rugby Championship
USA Eagles former captain Todd Clever returns to American rugby
ESPN Staff
February 1, 2016
Todd Clever will make his return to the USA Eagles after he was dropped before the Rugby World Cup © Getty Images

Former USA Eagles captain Todd Clever will make his return to American rugby after he was released from Newcastle Falcons to play in the inaugural Americas Rugby Championship.

The long-time captain was dropped from the USA side before the 2015 Rugby World Cup, but will join Falcon's teammate Eric Fry, as well as Cam Dolan, Taku Ngwenya, Greg Peterson, and Blaine Scully who have also been released from their respective professional overseas clubs for at least one match of the groundbreaking competition.

"The contracted players overseas bring the necessary experience of professionalism from their club cultures and, as long as they bring the right enthusiasm with that awareness to their preparation and performance, this rubs off on the younger players," Eagles coach John Mitchell said.

"This is such an essential part of the younger players' development with our most experienced players around."

A mix of young and old, the USA squad features 15 players with previous international caps, including 11 players from last year's World Cup, while 12 players will get their chance to earn their first international cap.

"Everyone involved will have to give more of themselves and play in a space where they have never been before. We are more interested in creating a team mix and squad that understands winning for USA is more important than playing for USA."

The Eagles kick off their ARC campaign against fifth-ranked Argentina before matches against Canda, Chile, Brazil, and Uruguay, respectively.

USA Eagles squad:

Jake Anderson, Chris Baumann, Demecus Beach, James Bird, Patrick Blair, Tom Bliss, Todd Clever, Cameron Dolan, Nic Edwards, Jean Pierre Eloff, Cameron Falcon, Lemoto Filikitonga, Eric Fry, Mike Garrity, Hanco Germishuys, Alec Gletzer, James Hilterbrand, Luke Hume, Olive Kilifi, Niku Kruger, Titi Lamositele, Ben Landry, Chad London, Ryan Matyas, Kingsley McGowan, Takudzwa Ngwenya, Brodie Orth, Greg Peterson, Aladdin Schirmer, Blaine Scully, Michelangelo Sosene-Feagai, Tim Stanfill, David Tameilau, Joseph Taufete'e, Mike Te'o, Bruce Thomas, Matt Trouville

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