American teams named for NA4 clashes
May 4, 2007
The American teams have been named for the next leg of the North America 4 series. The Hawks and Falcons will play their rivals Canada East and Canada West in the second leg of the series May 9 and 12 at Stanford University.
On Wednesday, May 9, the Falcons will meet Canada East in the first intra-continental match of this year's tournament at 4pm, while the Hawks are set to face off against Canada West at 6pm. All four teams will get a couple days to recover and then on Saturday, May 12, the opponents are flipped and the Hawks face Canada East at 1pm, while the Falcons play Canada West at 3pm.
The IRB's North America 4 tournament is a cross-border competition set to provide an elite level of rugby just below the international level for both Canada and the United States. This competition, which comes as part of the IRB's Tier II initiatives, was implemented by the IRB as a high performance development tool for North American rugby.
"We are narrowing down our squads so we can eventually pick out the team that we wish to take to the Barclays Churchill Cup in England, and in time select the Rugby World Cup squad we wish to bring to France in September," US national team coach Peter Thorburn said. "Since, we are playing Canada and not just ourselves this time around, we have really selected teams that we are expecting to win. With the World Cup around the corner, we can't take this selection process for granted. There are only so many opportunities for coaches to see exactly what our players can do that when we do have a chance to see the players in action, we can't waste it."
The Falcons, coached by Adam Friend and Don Ferrell, will include Props Chris Moreno (Denver Barbarians), Brian Olmes (PAC), Aaron Beuhring (PAC) and Chris Osentowski (Belmont Shore); Hookers Blake Burdette (NYAC) and Owen Lentz (Maryland Exiles); Locks Adam Casias (Sacramento Lions), Latu Puloka (OMBAC), Mike Mangan (Denver Barbarians) and Hayden Mexted (St Louis); Loose Forwards Mark Aylor (Denver Barbarians), Jason Lett (Worchester), Rikus Pretorius (UC Berkeley) Danny La Provette (SF Golden Gate), Travis Meidinger (Heidelburg, Germany) and Tasi Mounga (SF Golden Gate); Scrumhalves Chad Erskine (Waterloo) and Doug Rowe (Old Blue NY); Flyhalves Mike Hercus (Belmont Shore), Scott Peterson (Chicago Lions); Centers Philip Eloff (Chicago Lions), Vaha Esikia (San Mateo), Alipate Tuilevuka (Park City Haggis); Wings Mike Palefau (Narbonne, France), Jason Pye (OMBAC), Chris Wyles (Nottingham/Northhampton, England); Fullback Andrew 'Tui' Osborne (Belmont Shore)
The Hawks, coached by Marty Wiggins and Kevin Battle, includes Props Mike French (OMBAC), Matekitonga Moeakiola (Park City Haggis) and Jon Vitale (Chicago Lions); Hookers Patrick Bell (Life College) and Mark Crick (PAC); Locks Alec Parker (Aspen), Jake Stanfill (OMBAC) and John Van Der Giessen (Santa Barbara); Loose Forwards Inaki Basauri (Massy Essonne, Paris), Louis Stanfill (UC Berkeley), Todd Clever (OMBAC), MC Laubscher (Chicago Lions), Dan Payne (OMBAC) and Patrick Quinn (Denver Barbarians); Scrumhalves David Williams (Denver Barbarians) and Kimball Kjar (Park City); Flyhalves Jason Kelly (Denver Barbarians) and Mese Malifa (Belmont Shore); Centers Albert Tuipulotu (San Mateo), Riaan Hamilton (OMBAC) and Nathan Rodgers (Life College); Wings Scott Jones (Chicago Lions), Kevin Mongold (Scioto Valley) and Takudzwa Ngwenya (Dallas Athletic Rugby Club); Fullbacks Jone Naqica (Denver Barbarians) and Francois Viljoen (Belmont Shore)